Hamas on collision course with Hezbollah as Iran seeks to protect ‘most valuable proxy | EXPRESS UK

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Avi Melamed’s insights quoted in “Hamas on collision course with Hezbollah as Iran seeks to protect ‘most valuable proxy”, an article by Aurora Bosotti for the Express UK.

EXCLUSIVE: Hamas has called on its allies to turn the first day of the holy month of Ramadan into an international day in support of Gaza.

Hamas is on a collision course with Hezbollah after its leadership insisted attacks on Israel and its allies should escalate as the Middle East prepares to celebrate Ramadan, according to a former Israeli intelligence officer.

The Palestinian organization suggested the first day of the holy month for Muslims should become a day of international support of Gaza – calling for attacks on “the occupation’s military checkpoints”.

However, geopolitical analyst Avi Melamed argued Hezbollah is unlikely to divert from its current “modus operandi” as it could result in dangerous retaliation from Israel, a considerable threat to Iran’s “most valuable” proxy in the region.

The Lebanon-based military organization pledged its support to Hamas immediately after its October 7 incursion into Israel and has repeatedly targeted Israeli infrastructure.

But Melamed told the Daily Express: “Despite calls from Hamas leadership to escalate their attacks further during Ramadan, it’s unlikely that Hezbollah will divert from the modus operandi it has operated under during the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel.

“It is unlikely that after watching the destruction wrought by the nearly five-month Israeli operation in Gaza, Iran would allow its most valuable proxy to risk its political position and its assets in Lebanon for a war that would most assuredly bring about Hezbollah’s destruction and break Iran’s hold on Lebanon.

“Hezbollah at some levels has already begun to withdraw some of its forces, not yet to the Litani [river], but fully understanding that parable that ‘one who plays with matches eventually gets burned’.”

Melamed added: “And understanding that given the trauma inflicted by Hamas on October 7, Israeli public opinion would fully support an Israeli preemptive incursion into Lebanon to mitigate the threat of a Hezbollah-initiated attack on a similar scale.”

Following its call to action, Hamas also indicated a ceasefire before the start of Ramadan is unlikely as its representatives said negotiations with Israel will not resume until next week.

Mediators had looked to Ramadan as an informal deadline because the month of dawn-to-dusk fasting often sees Israeli-Palestinian violence linked to access to a major Jerusalem holy site.

The war already has the wider region on edge, with Iran-backed groups trading fire with Israel and the United States.

Egyptian officials had earlier said the negotiations had reached an impasse over Hamas’ demand for a phased process culminating in an end to the war.

But they did not rule out a deal before Ramadan, which is expected to begin on Sunday.

Hamas spokesman Jihad Taha said Israel “refuses to commit to and give guarantees regarding the ceasefire, the return of the displaced, and withdrawal from the areas of its incursion.”

But he said the talks were still ongoing and would resume next week. There was no immediate comment from Israel.

Avi Melamed’s insights quoted in “Hamas on collision course with Hezbollah as Iran seeks to protect ‘most valuable proxy”, an article by Aurora Bosotti for the Express UK.

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Avi Melamed
Avi Melamedhttps://insidethemiddle-east.com
Avi Melamed is an expert on current affairs in the Arab & Muslim World and their impact on Israel & the Middle East. A former Israeli Intelligence Official & Senior Official on Arab Affairs, Fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, he has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence & Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities & communities - often in very sensitive times - on behalf of Israeli Government agencies. He is the Founder & CEO of Inside the Middle East | Intelligence Perspectives - an apolitical non-partisan curriculum using intelligence methodology to examine the Middle East. As an Author, Educator, Expert, and Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Avi provides Intelligence Analysis, Briefings, and Geopolitical Tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs.

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