Saturday , 25 May 2024

Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah coordinated Gaza fighting in joint war room — report

timesofisrael – Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hezbollah coordinated with Hamas on the recent fighting in Gaza between Palestinian terrorists and Israel, according to the editor-in-chief of a Lebanese daily affiliated with Hezbollah.

Ibrahim Al-Amine, editor of the pro-Hezbollah Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, told Hezbollah’s Al-Manar network over the weekend that during the 11-days of fighting in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, officers from the IRGC, Hamas and Hezbollah set up a joint military operations center in Beirut.

The commander of the IRGC’s overseas Quds Force, Esmail Ghaani, visited the operations center twice during the military hostilities, according to Al-Amine.

The newspaper editor claimed Hezbollah sent weapons and ammunition to Gaza and “moved a number of Palestinian resistance officers out of the Strip during the aggression,” according to Al-Manar.

Palestinian factions were also provided with data on the movements of Israeli forces, Al-Amine asserted, asserting drones were used to prevent Israel from springing an “ambush” on terror operatives along the border.

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He also said if Israel “expanded its aggression, the entire axis of resistance would have confronted it,” referring to Iran and its regional proxies.

Members of the Hamas terror group’s military wing parade in Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on May 27, 2021, as Hamas claims victory following an 11-day conflict with Israel. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

Al-Amine’s comments came days after Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, said Hamas coordinated with the IRGC and Hezbollah throughout the fighting, in a press conference quoted by Israel’s Kan news.

Sinwar also said there was “full coordination between the resistance in Lebanon and resistance in Gaza,” referring to several rockets fired at Israel from Lebanon during the conflict.

The Israeli military blamed several of the rocket attacks from Lebanon on Palestinian factions in the country, not the Hezbollah terror group. However, it is unlikely that terrorists in southern Lebanon would be able to fire rockets without at least the tacit approval of the Iran-backed militia, which maintains a tight degree of control over southern Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Ghaani on Saturday issued fresh threats against Israel.

“I’d advise all Zionists to go back and repurchase the houses they have sold in Europe, the US and elsewhere to come to the Palestinian territories before the houses become more expensive than today,” he said, according to the Tasnim news agency.

During the conflict in Gaza, known in Israel as “Operation Guardian of the Walls,” Iranian state television reported that Ghaani spoke by phone with Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh to laud the Islamist terror organization’s attacks on Israel.

Iranian Quds Force commander Esmail Ghaani (L) and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (R). (AP)

The fighting in the Strip, which erupted on May 10 after Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem amid escalating Israeli-Palestinian tensions in the city, ended last week with a ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza-ruling terror group.

Thirteen people were killed in Israel, all but one of them civilians, including a 5-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl. Some 357 people in Israel were wounded. Terror groups in Gaza fired more than 4,300 rockets at Israel during the fighting.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said at least 243 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children and teens, with 1,910 people wounded. It does not differentiate between terror group members and civilians. The Israeli military maintained that it killed some 225 terrorist operatives and that the Palestinian death toll was in fact considerably higher than was reported. It also said some of the civilian fatalities were caused by Hamas rockets falling short and landing in the Strip.