Israeli media outlets reported that the meeting held in Beirut between the leaders of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the statement issued by these organisations at the end of the meeting indicate an intention to escalate tensions with the occupation.
According to the Palestinian affairs commentator on the Kan channel, Elior Levy, the goal of this meeting was “to escalate the security situation and exacerbate it, whether in the West Bank, or in the Gaza Strip, and perhaps in other areas as well.”
Levy pointed out that the meeting was attended by senior Palestinian officials and was chaired by the Deputy Head of the Political Bureau of Hamas, Saleh Al-Arouri, the Secretary-General of the Islamic Jihad Movement, Ziad Al-Nakhalah, and the Deputy Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Jamil Mezher.
“Such meetings usually end in secret, but this time they chose to issue a message to the outside world, in addition to taking a photo of them standing together at the end of the meeting,” Levy said. This, he continued, sends a message to Israel, indicating that they are “leaning towards escalation.”
Earlier, the military affairs correspondent for the Israeli Kan channel, Itay Blumenthal, said: “The security and military establishments recognise that we are heading towards escalation in the Gaza Strip, which is why another battalion was reinforced in the Gaza Brigade on the eve of the [Yom Kippur] holiday,” according to Al-Mayadeen website.
The Palestinian factions, represented by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, agreed to enhance joint coordination, they said in a statement. They stressed the importance of escalating comprehensive resistance, especially armed resistance in the face of the Israeli occupation and “to maintain unity on the ground among all resistance fighters to confront the Zionist aggression”.