Hamas Leader Affirms Military Ties With Hezbollah
Hamas and Hezbollah have restored military cooperation, a top Hamas leader told the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.
“We differed at a moment regarding the Syrian issue,” said Hamas political official Salah al-Bardawil. “[Hezbollah] and Iran were angry, even though we only meant for them to stay out of the muddled situation in Syria and not interfere — we offered this as a recommendation. Nevertheless, we do not deny that cooperation exists between [Hezbollah] and Hamas.”
Al-Bardawil also reaffirmed that calls by Fatah to disarm Hamas’ military wing in exchange for reconciliation between the two Palestinian factions are a non-starter.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah announced last month that his group sent Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missiles to Hamas in Gaza.
Israeli strategists anticipate that the Jewish state could face a two-front war against both Hezbollah and Hamas in a future conflict. In addition to Hezbollah, Israel faces threats from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and other Shiite militias based in Syria.
“There are no more one-front wars. That is our basic assumption. That is what we are preparing the military for,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said last month.
A two-front war could prove costly for Israel, because it means that all of Israel would be in range of terrorist rockets. A 2015 IDF assessment found that Hezbollah could rain 1,000 rockets per day upon Israeli cities, causing hundreds of civilian casualties. And that’s not to mention the threat from ISIS in the Sinai, where Egypt is losing its fight to contain the jihadis. ISIS — whose fighters in Sinai have been trained and armed by Hamas — launched a rocket attack against southern Israel in October.
Israel’s next war will be very different from anything it’s faced in decades — and the Jewish state hasn’t fought a two-front war since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.