Hamas Chief Travels To Beirut, Meets Hassan Nasrallah

BEIRUT— The top leaders of Hezbollah and Hamas held talks in Beirut on Tuesday about last month’s 11-day war with Israel in the Gaza Strip.

Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Palestinian Hamas, arrived in Lebanon on Sunday and met several top officials, including President Michel Aoun and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.

On Tuesday, Haniyeh and Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah discussed how they can build on the experience of the latest round of fighting in Gaza. The bruising war had caused widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip, brought life in much of Israel to a standstill and killed at least 254 people.

During the war, Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired over 4,000 rockets into Israel with dozens of projectiles flying as far north as Tel Aviv, the country’s bustling commercial and cultural capital forcing Israel to seek ceasefire. Israeli airstrikes and shelling caused wide destruction in Gaza.

Haniyeh and Nasrallah discussed ways of leveraging the gains through “utilizing all capabilities in a bid to reach the final and decisive victory,” a statement issued after the meeting said.

It was the first between the two since September.

According to a Hamas’ official, the two leaders underlined that resistance was the “strategic option” to be used towards Palestine’s liberation and also underscored the Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homeland.

“The two sides laid emphasis on the strength of their brotherly relations, which they said have an important role in the consistency of the regional resistance axis”, Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV reported.

Hezbollah and Israel fought a 34-day war in 2006 that ended in an embarrassment for the Israelis.

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