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Gaza war brings Hamas, Hezbollah closer

The war on Gaza offers an opportunity to renegotiate the strategic relationship between Hamas and Hezbollah, whose relationship has been severed over the past three years, providing major obstacles can be overcome.
Hezbollah supporters wave Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian and Hezbollah flags as they listen to their leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah addressing his supporters during a rally to mark "Quds (Jerusalem) Day" in Beirut's southern suburbs July 25, 2014. REUTERS/Sharif Karim    (LEBANON - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST RELIGION) - RTR4056R
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The Gaza war has contributed to breaking the ice between Hezbollah and Hamas after they have been at odds over the Syrian crisis. During the past three years of severed relations, there has been no public interaction between the officials of either parties, but with the Gaza war escalating, the situation has changed. On Aug. 4, Ali Baraka, a Hamas political official in Lebanon, appeared along with the vice president of Hezbollah’s political office, Mahmoud Qamati, in the southern suburbs of Beirut on a joint occasion to support the Gaza Strip. The Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar channel hosted Baraka to speak about Hamas’ take on the war on Gaza. Baraka probably expected that the outcome would lead to mending ties between Hamas and the axis of resistance — Iran, Syria and Hezbollah.

The party’s sudden interest in Baraka in particular serves as an indication of potential political calls with Hamas. He is considered a liaison between the two political parties, and during the rupture between them, he tried to play the role of mediator to settle their differences. However, Hezbollah ignored Baraka’s attempts at the time because it knew that Khaled Meshaal, head of Hamas’ political bureau, finally settled with the other axis, Qatar/Turkey. Despite the rupture with Meshaal’s command, Hezbollah still maintained minimum levels of political relations with Hamas.

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