Iran ‘to pressure Hamas into softening stance’ to protect Hezbollah from war with Israel | EXPRESS UK

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Iran ‘to pressure Hamas into softening stance’ to protect Hezbollah from war with Israel | Avi Melamed’s insights quoted by Aurora Bosotti for the Express UK.


EXCLUSIVE: Hezbollah has exchanged heavy fire with Israel since the start of the war, fueling fears in Tehran its greatest asset in the region could be at risk.

Iran “is likely to pressure Hamas” into softening its stance towards Israel to avoid pushing Hezbollah into a full-on-war with Benjamin Netanyahu‘s troops, a regional analyst has suggested.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Iran earlier this week to visit allies in the country, warning Israel is now facing “political isolation” after a UN vote demanding a ceasefire.

Both parties have rejected a US proposal for the release of Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners – but Tehran could ultimately play a key role in defusing tensions between the two nations.

Iran’s top proxy in the region, Lebanon-based Hezbollah, has increasingly exchanged fire with Netanyahu’s IDF, fuelling fears of the conflict expanding past the Gaza Strip.

Former Israeli intelligence officer Avi Melamed told the Daily Express that Tehran will likely demand Hamas change its strategy to ensure its leading asset is not compromised in a war it would not be able to sustain.

Melamed said: “Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh’s arrival in Tehran, could lead to a softening of Hamas’s negotiation position while furthering the internal rifts between Hamas’s leaders outside of Gaza and its Gaza-based leaders including Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif.

“Iran is likely to pressure Haniyeh to soften Hamas’s demands given the Regime’s concern for Hezbollah in the ever-escalating exchanges of fire with Israel.

“Every rocket launch brings with it the risk of a stronger Israeli response further dismantling Hezbollah’s military capabilities, while the internal politics within Lebanon are creating a potentially greater issue for Hezbollah’s ability to control the trajectory of the inner Lebanese dialogue.”

Hezbollah has pledged its full support to Hamas in the days following Israel‘s declaration of war on the terrorist organisation on October 8, 2023.

Its militants have repeatedly targeted Israeli infrastructure, with the IDF retaliating with its own strikes within Lebanon.

Melamed also argued Israel could exploit any escalation by Hezbollah as justification to ramp up operations in the Gaza Strip to root out its Hamas allies.

He added: “Hezbollah has been very clear, and will not be able to back down from its posturing that its attacks on Israel will continue until a ceasefire is reached in Gaza.

“As Tehran’s most important proxy force in the region, it is in the Regime’s best interests to protect Hezbollah from crossing a line that Netanyahu will use to launch a full-scale offensive in the north, even if it means sacrificing the control of its proxies of the Gaza Strip.”

Despite the threat of escalation, Hezbollah this week claimed responsibility for 30 rockets launched at northern Israel in retaliation for an Israeli airstrike on a paramedic center.


Iran ‘to pressure Hamas into softening stance’ to protect Hezbollah from war with Israel | Avi Melamed’s insights quoted 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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