- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hamas has reached out to Hezbollah, petitioning the Lebanese-based terror group to help fight Israel and win full Palestinian independence in Gaza.

Moussa Abu Marzouk, a Cairo-based deputy head of the political bureau for Hamas, said to Russian-run RIA Novosti that the hope was that “the Lebanese front will open and together we will fight against this formation,” he said, referring to Israel.

He went on, the Times of Israel reported: “There’s no arguing that Lebanese resistance could mean a lot.”

The Hezbollah reach-out comes just after reports surfaced that both North Korea and Iran have been offering aid to Hamas. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Iran’s aid to Hamas has fallen in recent years, but that U.S. intel suggested that trend could very well change, as the conflict — which just entered its fourth week — with Israel drags on.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, meanwhile, just called for Iran to help bolster the military arsenal of Hamas.

“The Muslim world has a duty to arm the Palestinian nation by all means,” he said in a speech reported by the Wall Street Journal.

And just a few days ago, the Telegraph reported that North Korea has been making moves to supply Hamas with weapons and communications gear in a deal that’s believed to be brokered by a Lebanese-based trading company.

The formal entrance of Hezbollah into the conflict would only underscore what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu predicted earlier this week — that the conflict with Hamas is poised for the long-term. A Hezbollah-Hamas united effort seems imminent.

In a recent speech, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said that his Shiite party — also backed by Iran — will stand by Hamas, no matter what, the Times of Israel reported.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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