Hamas appeals directly to Hezbollah leader to help fight Israel, Nasrallah unlikely though to wield to pressure to send fighters

by Martin Jay

30 July 2014 | 13:00

  • by Martin Jay
  • Last update: 30 July 2014 | 13:00

Hezbollah is being directly asked by Hamas to join the Palestinian fight in Gaza against Israel according to a Russian news agency.

Hamas has urged the Shiite group in Lebanon to join the fight against Israel after the conflict between the Islamic Resistance Movement and the Jewish state entered its third week.

"We hope the Lebanese front will open and together we will fight against this formation [Israel]," deputy head of Hamas' political bureau Mousa Abu Marzouk told Russian news agency RIA Novosti.

"There's no arguing that Lebanese resistance could mean a lot," Abu Marzouk stressed.

Yet the political gains for Hezbollah are not so evident, given its stretched resources across Syria and Iraq presently plus Iran's current advantageous position with the West over nuclear talks which Tehran hopes will ultimately unfreeze a number of crucial sanctions like oil.

In words at least though Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah vowed that his party will stand by the resistance in Gaza. " Hezbollah and the Lebanese resistance will stand by the Palestinian people's uprising and resistance in our heart, willpower, hope and destiny," Nasrallah said in a speech last week.

"In facing this event [war], we in Hezbollah were and will remain standing on the side of all the Palestinian people and all factions of the resistance in Palestine," Nasrallah said. "We will not spare any means of support that we can extend and are able to provide. We feel that we are true partners with this resistance in this battle."
Yet experts who are close to Hezbollah are skeptical about the Shiite movement doing anything so bold and decisive – rather preferring mere words of support only. Alain Aoun of the Change and Reform party says that Lebanon is bound by UN treaties to not get involved in Israel's war with Gaza and plays down Nasrallah's fiery rhetoric: "I don't think he is talking about arms, money or military support...this is more moral support" Aoun told An-Nahar English in an interview today.

Last week, the Hezbollah chief warned Israel against expanding its offensive in Gaza. "To the spider's web and the Zionists I say: In Gaza today, you are moving in a circle of failure and don't go further to the circle of suicide or collapse," he said.
South Lebanon has generally been calm since the end of the month long war between Israel and Hezbollah in the summer of 2006 which was seen by most as a defeat of Israel's army.

However, since the start of Israel's attack on Gaza, there have been several rocket attacks from Lebanon in solidarity with the Palestinians, although these are not suspected as coming from individuals working on instructions from Hezbollah.

Both the Army and U.N. peacekeeping troops have stepped up patrols along the Lebanese-Israeli border in order to prevent a reoccurrence of the attacks.

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