Analysis: A new anti-Israel axis is forming

At the northern front a new anti-Israel axis is planning its next moves.

Yochanan Visser,

Hezbollah supporters
Hezbollah supporters
Reuters

Yochanan Visser is an independent journalist/analyst who worked for many years as Middle East correspondent for Western Journalism.com in Arizona and was a frequent publicist for the main Dutch paper De Volkskrant. He authored a book in the Dutch language about the cognitive war against Israel and now lives in Gush Etzion. He writes a twice weekly analysis of current issues for Arutz Sheva

With Hamas running out of options in its terror war against Israel from Gazan soil, the Islamist terrorist organization is looking for other options to hit Israel.

After Israel proved it can virtually neutralize every rocket launched at southern Israel from Gaza and developed what is dubbed ‘an underground Iron Dome’ in order to combat the increasing threat of Hamas’ terror tunnels, the Palestinian terror group is now threatening Israel from the north.

Last week, senior Hamas official Mohammad Abu Hamza Hamdan escaped an assassination attempt on his life in the coastal city of Sidon in southern Lebanon, when a bomb which was planted underneath the driver’s seat of his expensive BMW destroyed the vehicle, but only moderately wounded the terrorist.

Mohammad Abu Hamza Hamdan is the brother of Osama Hamdan, the official Hamas envoy to Beirut and the co-author of Hamas’s new charter which continues to call for the destruction of Israel.

Lebanese media later reported an Israeli plane or drone had been spotted in the skies above Sidon at the moment the booby-trapped car exploded, fueling speculation the Mossad had something to do with the assassination attempt.

The Hezbollah affiliated paper al-Akhbar reported this weekend that Lebanese intelligence found out Ahmed Battiyah, a Dutch Muslim, had been recruited in Amsterdam by the Mossad and was tasked with preparing the assassination plot.

Israel’s Minister of Intelligence Yisrael Katz responded to the accusations by Hamas and Hezbollah about a "Zionist plot" by denying any involvement in the assassination attempt and said if Israel had been involved Hamadan wouldn’t be alive now.

Whether Israel was involved in the attempted assassination or not will probably remain an open question, but the fact is Hamas is cooperating with Hezbollah in south Lebanon and is building “a terror infrastructure” in the country, according to Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

“The sudden friendship between senior Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri and Hezbollah (leader) Nasrallah is something we are following, and every development will have an appropriate response,” Liberman said last week.

Al-Arouri, who was expelled from Qatar a few months ago, is now living in Dahiyah, the Hezbollah stronghold in the Lebanese capital. Beirut. He was the brain behind the recent reconciliation between Hamas and Iran and is in charge of Hamas' terror operations in Judea and Samaria.

In October, he led a Hamas delegation which visited Tehran and conducted talks with high-ranking Iranian government officials including Javad Zarif, the Iranian Foreign Minister.

Al-Arouri reportedly also met with Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Brigade of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, who is currently working to strengthen the "resistance" against Israel.

“Iran’s support to the resistance is the main priority now,” Soleimani said after the meeting with the Hamas leader.

Thereafter, al-Arouri spoke with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah about increasing cooperation between the Palestinian terror groups and the Iranian proxy in Lebanon.

"Both parties stressed the intersection between resistance movements and solidarity against the Zionist aggressions and all that is being plotted against the resistance movements in the region," read a statement released after the meeting.

Hamas is very blunt about the increasing cooperation with Hezbollah.

Senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar said on Saturday his organization was “developing relations” with Iran and its Lebanese proxy and admitted Israel was closely following the movements of Hamas officials in Lebanon.

Hezbollah is also cooperating with Fatah, the movement of PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, who last week drove the final nail into the coffin of the 'peace process' by delivering a two-hour anti-Israeli and anti-American rant with anti-Semitic undertones.

At the end of December, last year senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad met with Nasrallah in his hide-out in Lebanon to talk about the opening of a real front in Judea and Samaria.

The Hezbollah-affiliated Al Mayadeen TV network reported at the time the two discussed cooperation on instigating a new ‘Intifada’ after Fatah called for days of rage in response to the American decision to recognize Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem and to move the US embassy there.

Hezbollah’s Unit 133 has been tasked by Iran with recruiting Palestinian Arabs in Judea and Samaria and is training and funding new terror cells, according to military affairs analyst Yaacov Lappin.

Lappin told the Media Line that Unit 133 is a major headache for the intelligence services in Israel and claimed the Hezbollah division is also active in Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula.

There’s more.

Hezbollah and its political allies in Lebanon appear to be looking for a casus belli in order to start a new conflict with Israel.

President Michel Aoun, a lackey of Tehran, said last week Lebanon doesn’t consider the so-called Blue Line, the internationally recognized border between Israel and its northern neighbor, “a final border”.

During a meeting with UNIFIL commander Major General Michael Beary, the Lebanese president claimed that there are 13 points along the Blue Line which Lebanon has “reservations about.”

"Lebanon doesn't consider the Blue Line to be the final border. It is a temporary measure that was used following (Lebanon’s) liberation in 2000 and Israel's withdrawal,"Aoun told Beary while adding he considers the building of a new security fence along the Lebanese border by the IDF a threat to stability and security.

The only good news about Hezbollah’s activities in Lebanon and beyond is that Western countries are finally starting to realize something must be done to contain the threat the Iranian proxy poses not only to Israel but to the West as well.

Last week, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the establishment of a new task force which will finally deal with Hezbollah’s drugs cartel in the U.S. after the Obama Administration willfully let the Iranian proxy off the hook in order to secure the controversial nuclear deal with Tehran.

In Great-Britain, the House of Commons is expected to discuss new legislation which will finally designate Hezbollah a terrorist organization as a whole and not only its military arm, as has been the case until now in most EU countries.

The changing European stance on Hezbollah is influenced by reports the terror organization has sleeper cells in Germany and other European countries and by the decisionof the Arab League to blacklist the Iranian proxy as a designated terrorist organization.

As for Israel, almost all operational IDF plans deal with a future conflict with Hezbollah and other Iranian Shiite militias now operating in Syria and trying to take over the Kuneitra area on the Syrian Golan Heights.

Liberman has repeatedly warned that the ‘next war’ will be fought on multiple fronts.

The latest developments regarding the cooperation between Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon seem to justify his concerns.








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