In a letter delivered to Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah and Ansar Allah (also referred to as the Houthis,) Hamas’ politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh appealed to Axis of Resistance members for support against Israel’s planned annexation of certain areas of the West Bank.
In a report published by Hezbollah’s media relations department, the official representative of Hamas in Lebanon, Dr. Ahmed Abdel Hadi, recently met with Hezbollah’s Hassan Huballah to deliver a letter to Hassan Nasrallah.
In the letter, Haniyeh referred to the “dangers facing the Palestinian cause and the region as a result of these plans [annexation], and to unite the ranks and efforts to address these risks.”
The meeting between the two delegations also addressed the “latest situation in Palestine and the region” including the “Palestinian situation in Lebanon,” the report stated.
In a second letter sent to Ansar Allah’s political bureau, Haniyeh also appealed for support to resist the “dangerous Zionist escalation against the Palestinian people, their lands, rights, sanctities and efforts to annex the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley to the criminal Zionist entity.”
In response, Ansar Allah affirmed its support for the “resistance against the occupation.”
Additionally, the group reiterated its offer of exchanging Saudi prisoners of war for members of Hamas currently serving jail sentences in Saudi Arabia.
“An initiative has been presented by the leader, Abdul Malik Badr al Din al Houthi, may God protect him, regarding mujahideen prisoners of Hamas in the prisons of the Saudi regime, and our readiness to exchange them for a Saudi pilot and a number of other Saudi soldiers,” Ansar Allah stated.
Hamas is aware it is unlikely able to stop Israel from annexing areas of the West Bank, but it can make the process difficult to implement by launching acts of terrorism.
Reaching out to both Hezbollah and Ansar Allah for support adds some pressure on Israel by creating the impression that a coalition of militant groups have united against its plans for annexation.
As previously covered in FDD’s Long War Journal, it is likely Palestinian militant groups will react militarily if Israel goes through with annexation. However, the involvement of Hezbollah, Ansar Allah or any other group outside of the Palestinian territories is unlikely. Hezbollah is in the midst of an economic crisis in Lebanon and Ansar Allah is involved in its own conflict with Saudi Arabia in Yemen.
As long as Israel’s decision remains tentative regarding annexation, Axis of Resistance members will likely continue their words of endorsement for Hamas’ conflict against Israel but ultimately won’t amount to much more than a symbolic gesture of support.