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Lebanon's Hezbollah chief meets Hamas, Islamic Jihad officials

The leader of Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement, Hassan Nasrallah (R), meets Hamas number two Saleh al-Aruri (L) and Islamic Jihad leader Ziad Nakhaleh (2nd-L) at an undisclosed location in Lebanon
— Beirut (AFP)

Senior officials of Palestinian militant groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad have held talks with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah about achieving "real victory" in their war with Israel, the Lebanese group said Wednesday.

The Hezbollah statement did not specify when or where Nasrallah met with Hamas number two Saleh al-Aruri and Islamic Jihad leader Ziad Nakhaleh beyong saying that it was at a undisclosed location in Lebanon.

News of the meeting comes as Hezbollah and allied Palestinian factions exchange daily fire with the Israeli army across the Lebanon-Israel border, raising fears of a new front in Israel's war with Hamas in Gaza.

The three groups are part of the "axis of resistance" -- Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian and other Iran-backed armed groups opposed to Israel.

They discussed what "the axis of resistance must do at this critical stage to achieve real victory... in Gaza and Palestine and stop" Israel's "brutal aggression", the statement said.

They also discussed "recent events in the Gaza Strip since the start of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood" -- the unprecedented October 7 Hamas attack that killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, in Israel.

The health ministry in Hamas-controlled Gaza says 5,791 people have been killed, again mostly civilians, as Israel has bombarded the territory.

Nasrallah and the Palestinian militant leaders "agreed to keep coordinating and daily following up on developments," the statement added.

Hezbollah and Hamas have long been part of a "joint operations room" with the Quds Force -- the foreign operations arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards -- a source close to Hezbollah previously told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The meeting also touched upon the cross-border fire on the Lebanon-Israel border, the statement said.

At least 52 people have been killed in Lebanon according to an AFP tally, mostly Hezbollah combatants but also four civilians, including Reuters journalist Issam Abdallah.

Four people have been killed in Israel, including one civilian.