Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah hosted Hamas terror commander Saleh al-Arouri and Ziyad al-Nakhalah, the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), in a meeting that pro-Iran media praised, on Wednesday.
This is the “Axis of Resistance” as Iran terms it. Al-Mayadeen media, which is pro-Iran, said that the meeting relates to continued “coordination” between the terror groups. Hamas launched a massive attack on Israel on October 7. Hezbollah has joined the fighting by firing dozens of missiles and rockets at Israel over the last weeks, beginning with rockets and shells it fired at the Shebaa Farms region at the Golan Heights/Lebanese border on October 8.
The report about the meeting includes claims that Hezbollah’s leader received the other two terror leaders. Nasrallah and Nakhalah are the chiefs of their organizations, while Arouri is a deputy within his movement. “The meeting between Sayyed Nasrallah, Al-Nakhalah and Al-Arouri reviewed the ongoing confrontations on the Lebanese border with occupied Palestine, and the recent events in the Gaza Strip since the start of Operation ‘Al-Aqsa Flood’ and the developments that followed at every level.”
The meeting therefore focuses on what Iran has wanted over the last several years: to “unite” the fronts against Israel. “During the meeting, an assessment was made of the positions taken internationally and regionally and what the parties of the resistance axis must do at this sensitive stage.” The terror masterminds discussed ways to achieve “victory” the report said.
“An assessment was made of the international positions being taken and what the parties of the Axis of Resistance must do … to realize a real victory for the resistance in Gaza and Palestinian and to halt the brutal aggression,” Hezbollah said.
“There was agreement on continuing the coordination.”
They also discussed how they might stop Israel’s operations in Gaza and the West Bank.
Nasrallah and the two others agreed to continue coordination and hold “follow-up” discussions on a “daily or permanent basis.” This appears to be an attempt to unify operations on a greater level than in the past. Hamas, Hezbollah, PIJ, and Iran have met in Lebanon for similar meetings, usually before attacks on Israel, but they have not appeared to seek daily coordination.
Hezbollah announced on Wednesday that two more of its fighters had been killed, increasing the death toll in its ranks to 40 fighters since the start of the conflict, it said.
Nasrallah praised the members of Hezbollah who have been killed since October 7 as “martyrs on the road to Jerusalem.” This is a reminder that Iran has dubbed some of its military drills “road to Jerusalem” drills.
Al-Mayadeen pointed out that Hezbollah began its attacks on Israel on October 8, joining the battle Hamas began on October 7 when it massacred 1,400 people in Israel. The report says that this has led to “unprecedented” losses for Israel, the largest since 2006. Clearly Hezbollah is saying it has joined the war as part of a second front. The report said that this threat and activity by the Lebanese-based terrorist group had deterred Israel from “acting decisively in Gaza.”
Al-Arouri has been involved in the worst attacks
Arouri is a veteran terrorist who was involved in the kidnapping and murder of three Israelis in 2014, which led to the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas. In late August, he warned of “all-out war” against Israel. It turns out he was hinting at the October 7 attack. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had warned at the time that anyone who tried to harm Israel would “pay the full price.”
Arouri has often traveled to Turkey and Lebanon. The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center noted in 2014 that “al-Arouri is a senior Hamas operative based in Turkey.” Other Hamas leaders are based in Qatar.
Nasrallah met Arouri and Ziyad Nakhalah in September. Nasrallah met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and Arouri in April as well. Since October 7, Iran has also mobilized militias in Syria and Iraq to threaten the US, and the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen have launched rockets targeting Israel, which were shot down by an American warship and other air defenses in the region.
The US is moving more air defenses to the region. In addition, Saudi Arabia has evacuated some personnel from Lebanon and some other countries are calling on their people to leave. It appears that many countries are concerned about escalation. The terror leader meeting in Lebanon overnight, which appears like something out of The Godfather where the heads of the five Mafia families gather, is clearly an ominous cloud over the region.