September 13, 2022 | Foreign Policy

Iran-Hezbollah Intelligence Center May Help Hamas Target Israel

Growing evidence points to a joint communication center in Beirut that coordinates activities in the region.
September 13, 2022 | Foreign Policy

Iran-Hezbollah Intelligence Center May Help Hamas Target Israel

Growing evidence points to a joint communication center in Beirut that coordinates activities in the region.

Excerpt

In the wake of the May 2021 Gaza war between Israel and Hamas, reports in Israel suggested that Iran helped the terrorist group out of a Lebanon-based nerve center or joint operations room. Reports concerning this nerve center are scarce. However, what is known is cause for significant concern, particularly if the goal is to prevent future conflict in the Middle East.

Hezbollah leaders confirmed the existence and operation of the nerve center via the pro-Hezbollah, Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen television network. Hezbollah Deputy Secretary-General Naim Qassem claimed that the nerve center provided “sensitive and influential intelligence.” Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah also confirmed that Hamas received intelligence through this structure.

One representative of an Arab intelligence agency told me in July that he believed that the nerve center was virtual, with no fixed location. This assertion was also made by the Middle East-focused website, The Cradle. Israeli officials, however, believe there is a physical location in Beirut. This would corroborate journalist Ibrahim al-Amin’s claim that the center was visited twice by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force (IRGC-QF) commander Esmail Qaani during last year’s fighting in Gaza.

Jonathan Schanzer is the senior vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Twitter: @JSchanzer. FDD is a Washington, DC-based, non-partisan research institute focusing on national security and foreign policy.

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Issues:

Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Jihadism Lebanon Palestinian Politics