Hamas Asks Hezbollah to ‘Heat up’ Israel’s Northern Border
Gaza based terror group Hamas, now engaged by Israel in Gaza, has allegedly been urging its northern ally Hezbollah to act against Israel.
According to an interview with Russian press last Thursday, Deputy Head of Hamas’ political wing, Moussa Abu Marzouk, hinted that Hamas expects Hezb0llah to become more active in Israel’s north. “Hamas is hoping that Hezbollah will open a second front against Israel in the north, thus aiding Palestinians in the Gaza Strip against Israel.”
According to Israeli news website NRG, quoting As-Safir, a leading newspaper in Lebanon, a source close to Hamas said, “Talk is cheap. While we praise [Hassan] Nasrallah’s views and likewise, the views of the leadership in Iran, we want to see real actions that shake the borders of Arab countries with Israel.”
The source blamed Hezbollah for its noncommittal approach which, he said, could cost Hamas dearly. “We do not expect Hezbollah to torch the northern front with the enemy, but we expect to see actions that warm up the border.” In comments hinting at Hamas’ dire standing – then 24 days into Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza – the source added: “Why are they making it easier for Israelis? Why are they waiting for Gaza to fall?”
Hamas has found itself extremely isolated in the region, especially in light of Hezbollah’s current round of support for Syrian President Bashar Assad in his fight against rebels.
Gaza’s crossing with Egypt has meanwhile been hermetically sealed by Egypt, which in the post-Muslim Brotherhood era of President Abdel Fatah el-Sisi has positioned itself firmly against the Islamist Gaza group.
Top officials in Iran and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah have all made public statements praising Hamas’s battle against Israel and have called on Arab countries to support it morally and through shipments of weapons. Their call has not so far been answered.
The source quoted by As-Safir attempted to further provoke Hezbollah against Israel on its own turf, by saying “they [Hizbullah] not only fail to act against Israel because of what is happening in the Gaza Strip, but also do not react to actions Israel undertakes in the Sheba Farms and other violations of UN Resolution 1701.”
According to the Daily Star, another news outlet in Lebanon, Nasrallah had already made a promise a few days into Operation Protective Edge that referenced the proclaimed victory of Lebanon in the 2006 war with Israel. “The Palestinian resistance will remain steadfast and make a second victory in July, God willing,” he said.
Then, to mark the occasion of Quds Day (Jerusalem Day) on July 25, Nasrallah’s office released another statement which promised the continued pursual of “the resistence path and struggle to liberate Palestine from the river to the sea.” Hezbollah also hosted a ceremony in honor of Quds Day, which, according to the BBC, was first initiated by Iran in 1979 during the last week of Ramadan to express “support for Palestinians and fierce denunciation of Israel.” Millions of people take to the streets every year in rallies, celebrations and speeches.
Less than a week and a half later and Hezbollah’s attention seemed to be diverted back to the fighting in Syria. On Sunday afternoon Lebanese gunmen were trading fire with Islamist fighters on the border, ending with more than a dozen members of Lebanese security being taken captive and at least a dozen more wounded. Reuters reported Hezbollah appeared to be involved in the fighting in what was the biggest incursion into Lebanon by militants since the civil war began in Syria .