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Hamas Deputy Chief Meets Hezbollah Leader in Lebanon

The deputy chief of Hamas met on Tuesday with Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah in Lebanon to discuss the “importance of a coming together between the two resistance movements” to fight Israel.

Saleh al-Arouri, who last month was appointed deputy head of the Gaza-based terror group, and who is reportedly based in Lebanon, held, what was described as a “rare” public meeting with Nasrallah. The two discussed the deaths of seven terrorists from Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Hamas, when Israel destroyed a terror tunnel that it had detected inside earlier this week, The Times of Israel reported.

According to a Hamas-affiliated news site, PalInfo, Nasrallah extended his condolences to the “martyrs” and “stressed cohesion and solidarity in the face of Zionist attacks.”

Following the destruction of the tunnel, a PIJ official acknowledged that the tunnel was built to kidnap soldiers. During the meeting with al-Arouri, Nasrallah called PIJ leader Ramadan Abdullah Shalah to discuss the tunnel’s destruction and the resulting deaths. Nasrallah told Shalah that Hezbollah supports “resistance” groups in their war against Israel.

Because of its complete political and military control over Gaza, Israel holds Hamas responsible for all terror that originates in Gaza.

Last month, while in Iran, al-Arouri acknowledged that the Islamic Republic is the “main and primary benefactor” of Hamas, and “developing their capabilities,” referring to terrorist operations. Al-Arouri’s comments come at a time when Hamas is in reconciliation talks with the PA. The United States has demanded that Hamas, if it is to be part of the Palestinian government, to cease its terrorist activities in accord with the Quartet conditions for peace. At the time, al-Arouri said of the Quartet conditions that Hamas “did not accept it at all.”

In recent months, Hamas has become closer to Iran, recognized by the State Department as the “leading state sponsor of terrorism,” and also the primary benefactor of Hezbollah.