TEL AVIV – In the last 24 hours, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group reopened an operational room with Hamas to coordinate regional militant developments, including attacks against Israel, informed Middle Eastern defense officials told WND.
The operational room, commissioned at the direction of Iran, is located in Lebanon and is coordinating with the Hamas command and control in the Gaza Strip, the defense officials said.
Further, the defense officials said they are aware of Hezbollah plans to bring more weapons into the Gaza Strip in the coming days.
In another alarming development, the defense officials said the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad terrorist organization is not answering to Hamas and is shooting rockets into Israel at times without the approval of Hamas leaders. The move could complicate any cease-fire achieved between Israel and Hamas, and it gives Iran more discretion over the Gazan Palestinian arena.
The reopening of an operational room between Hezbollah and Hamas signifies the rapprochement of cooperation between Iran and Hamas under the current crisis in Gaza. In the last two years, Iran tempered its relationship with Hamas because the Islamist group failed to aid in any significant way the regime of Iran’s ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, which has been facing a Sunni-led militant insurgency.
On the ground, the strengthening of Hamas-Iran ties could have two major implications for Israel.
First, Israel could face coordinated rocket attacks from both Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, although that scenario is not likely. On Friday, one Katyusha rocket was fired into northern Israel, prompting fears of the opening of a second front against the Israeli homefront.
Second, Hamas may be more hardened in its truce talks with Israel.
On Thursday, WND reported Iran opposes a truce at this time and has even been attempting to use jihadist surrogates in the Gaza Strip to cause a mass casualty event in Israel that would provoke an Israeli ground operation, according to informed Middle Eastern security officials.
The report of renewed Iran-Hamas ties comes as Hamas on Saturday stepped up its rocketing offensive at Tel Aviv. For the first time, Gazan groups fired a barrage of 10 rockets nearly simultaneously at Tel Aviv and other central Israeli cities. Hamas had announced beforehand it would launch a large rocket barrage at Tel Aviv starting at 9 p.m. local Jerusalem time on Saturday.