Hezbollah, Hamas chiefs meet in Beirut

Hezbollah, Hamas chiefs meet in Beirut
Hezbollah and Hamas leaders met near the Lebanese capital on Sunday and discussed recent developments in the region following attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israel.
2 min read
Hamas's Haniyeh met with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah [Getty/archive]

The leaders of the Iran-backed Lebanese movement Hezbollah and the Palestinian movement Hamas have met in Beirut to discuss "the readiness of the axis of resistance" against Israel, a Hezbollah statement said Sunday.

Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, has been in the Lebanese capital since Wednesday.

Israel blamed Hamas for firing 34 rockets the following day toward its territory from southern Lebanon, the stronghold of the Iran-backed Shia movement Hezbollah.

Israel's army on Friday struck both southern Lebanon and Gaza, after rockets targeting Israel were also fired from the coastal enclave.

During Haniyeh's meeting with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, the pair discussed "the readiness of the axis of resistance" and cooperation between its members in the face of recent developments, the Hezbollah statement said.

The "axis of resistance" refers to Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian, Iraqi and other Iran-backed groups opposed to Israel.

The two also discussed "the intensification of resistance in the West Bank and Gaza" and "events at Al-Aqsa mosque" in Jerusalem, according to the statement, which did not specify when they met.

On Wednesday, Israeli police stormed the prayer hall of Al-Aqsa mosque - Islam's third-holiest site - in a pre-dawn raid and attacked worshippers inside, injuring and arresting hundreds. 

Following the strikes on Lebanon and Gaza, Israel announced early Sunday it had struck targets in Syria in response to six rockets fired from Syrian territory.

The army said two rockets landed in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, while air defence systems intercepted at least one.

The latest rocket attacks came after three people were killed in two separate attacks targeting Israelis in recent days.

Israel has killed nearly 100 Palestinians this year and injured hundreds more, amid ongoing deadly raids in the occupied West Bank.