October 25, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad meet in Beirut

October 25, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hezbollah, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad meet in Beirut

Latest Developments

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah hosted Hamas deputy-commander Saleh al-Arouri and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Ziyad Nakhalah in Beirut according to Iranian pro-regime media, which posted a photo of the three men together. The meeting took place 19 days after Hamas massacred 1,400 people in Israel. The three terror leaders agreed to continue coordination on a “daily” basis and discussed ways to achieve “victory” over Israel. Arouri is a Hamas terror leader linked to the 2014 kidnapping and murder of three Israelis, which set off a 50-day war. He has often traveled between Qatar, Turkey, and Lebanon.

Expert Analysis

“The meeting of terror leaders in Beirut and Iran’s bragging about the meeting showcases how Tehran is openly seeking to bring Hezbollah and other terror groups into a multi-front war against Israel and the United States in the Middle East.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“The Tehran regime has spent 40 years arming, training, and equipping terrorist groups far more committed to the destruction of Israel than to the well-being of the people they claim to represent. We’re not yet sure whether Iran gave a specific greenlight for the October 7 massacre, but when a state spends billions building a terror network, it is directly responsible for the results — and the White House needs to say that clearly.” — David Adesnik, FDD Senior Fellow and Director of Research

Iran seeks to unify terror groups and fronts against Israel and U.S.

Iran has built groups throughout the Middle East into what it calls an “Axis of Resistance,” preparing them for a broader war against the United States and Israel. In Yemen, the Iran-backed Houthis launched missiles and drones aimed at Israel on October 18. The attack was intercepted by a U.S. warship in the Red Sea. In the past, the Houthis have also targeted Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Iran has encouraged its proxies to attack Israel from multiple fronts in the past. This has included mobilizing militias in Iraq and Syria as well as Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Previous meetings foreshadow escalation

In April 2023, Nasrallah also hosted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh along with Arouri during a period of escalation against Israel. Thirty rockets were fired at Israel on April 6, coinciding with the first day of Passover. The rockets hit an area in northern Israel that Hezbollah has again been targeting over the last two weeks. Nasrallah also met with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas leadership in September, prior to the October 7 attack. Arouri put out statements threatening a “regional war” against Israel in August.

Iranian-Backed Militias in Iraq and Syria Continue Attacks on U.S. Troops,” FDD Flash Brief

Turkey Actively Supports Hamas, Refuses to Condemn Massacre,” by Sinan Ciddi

Hezbollah Threatens U.S., Israel 40 Years After Deadly Beirut Blast,” FDD Flash Brief


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