Secretary General of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah and the leader of the Islamic Jihad Movement Ziad al-Nakhala (Photo credit: Hezbollah’s Media Relations Office)
According to a statement issued on 24 August, Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah received the leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) Ziad al-Nakhala in Beirut.
During the meeting, the resistance leaders discussed the recent events in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and conducted an assessment of current developments in light of Israel’s recent military operation.
The accompanying Lebanese and Palestinian delegations “discussed various political developments in the region and the expected roles to be carried by the resistance factions in any upcoming confrontation with the enemy,” the statement issued by Hezbollah’s Media Relations Unit announced.
This visit took place two weeks after the Israeli army launched “Operation Breaking Dawn” against the PIJ in Gaza on 5 August.
The unprovoked operation was meant to deter the PIJ from acting upon its promises to protect its members from the mass arrest campaign launched by the Israeli army.
However, another important objective was to send a message to Hezbollah that it could face the ‘wrath’ of the Israeli army and a similar pre-emptive attack if it intends to act upon its own promises.
“I hope those across the border understand the message, and if not, we will have to repeat it,” the head of southern command in the Israeli army Eliezer Toledano threatened Hezbollah on 8 August.
Toledano echoed the statement issued by the Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Minister of Defense Benny Gantz regarding Hezbullah’s threats to attack Karish gas field if the negotiations with Lebanon collapse.
For the past few months, US-mediated negotiations took place between Lebanon and Israel to demarcate the maritime border and end the current dispute over two gas fields.
Nonetheless, the Israeli media ridiculed the self-confidence displayed by the Israeli security establishment, arguing against the common belief that Hezbollah was taken aback by the army’s performance in Gaza.
“It is true that Israel achieved operational and intelligence success against the PIJ, but in Lebanon they should know that the confrontation between the Israeli army and Hezbollah will be a completely different challenge,” Ronit Marzen argues in his article in Haaretz.
Additionally, local Israeli media reiterated that any possible confrontation with Lebanon could eventually expand into a multi-front war that encompasses Gaza, Syria, Yemen, and possibly Iran.