Israel accused Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terrorist group based in Lebanon, of arming and training Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip bordering southern Israel, The Jerusalem Post reported Sunday.
The Post cited a report that appeared in the Lebanese paper Al Joumhouria that said that Israel had sent a letter to the United Nations Security Council and General Assembly charging that the two terror groups were building missile factories and bases for training thousands of fighters. The letter requested that the U.N. intervened because the activities of the two terror groups constituted a “blatant violation” of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah, and stipulated that there should be no armed groups in Lebanon except for the army.
“We are witnessing the implications of the Hamas terror regime in Gaza and now Hamas is strengthening its ties with Hezbollah. With the approval and support of Iran, Hamas is working to establish its capabilities in Lebanese territory as well,” the Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon said.
“The cooperation between Hezbollah and Hamas crosses borders. Israel does not intend to sit idly when facing new and old threats and will do whatever is necessary to protect its citizens,” he added.
According to the report, deputy leader of Hamas Saleh al-Arouri, who is based in Lebanon, regularly meets with Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah to coordinate the military and political campaigns of the two terror groups. Arouri also reportedly is in contact with Saed Izai, the leader of the Palestinian division of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Arouri is reported to have led a delegation of top Hamas officials to Iran last October and met with foreign affairs adviser Ali Akbar Velayati and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. He also met with Nasrallah in Lebanon a month later. While in Iran, Arouri acknowledged that the Islamic Republic was Hamas’s “main and primary benefactor.”
Last August, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley that al-Arouri was working “to boost the relationship between Hamas and Hezbollah… under an Iranian umbrella, and with the assistance of the Revolutionary Guards and [its leader] Qasem Soleimani.”
That same month, Haley criticized the UN peacekeeping commander in Lebanon for failing to stem the “massive flow of illegal weapons” to Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon.
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