According to the report, Israel sent a letter to the UN Security Council and General Assembly that included intelligence showing the effort of the two terrorist groups to set up missile factories and training facilities for thousands of Palestinian fighters.
Israel requested that the UN intervene to stop cooperation between the two groups, charging it was a “blatant violation” of UN Security Resolution 1701, which set the terms to end the 34-day Second Lebanon War fought between Israel and Hezbollah in the summer of 2006.
“We are witnessing the implications of the Hamas terror regime in Gaza and now Hamas is strengthening its ties with Hezbollah. With the approval and support of Iran, Hamas is working to establish its capabilities in Lebanese territory as well,” said Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon.
“The cooperation between Hezbollah and Hamas crosses borders. Israel does not intend to sit idly when facing new and old threats and will do whatever is necessary to protect its citizens,” he stated.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned of such developments in January, saying Hamas was trying to strengthen its presence in South Lebanon to launch attacks against Israel from there.
“It must be understood that Hamas, which finds it hard to carry out attacks from the Gaza Strip, is currently trying to launch attacks from the West Bank – and is also trying in new arenas, first of all in southern Lebanon, to threaten the State of Israel,” he said, adding that Israel has been following developments in the growing relationship between Hamas and Hezbollah.
“We will not Hamas to talk about the humanitarian crisis [in Gaza] on the one hand, and on the other hand say that it will try to carry out terror attacks from the West Bank or build terror infrastructures in southern Lebanon,” he said.
The report also said Israel claimed that Hamas Politburo Deputy Chairman Saleh al-Arouri meets with Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah for military and political coordination and is reportedly in contact with Saed Izai, the head of the Palestinian branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.
In August, Liberman made similar comments when he met with US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley. He charged al-Arouri with attempting “to boost the relationship between Hamas and Hezbollah... under an Iranian umbrella, and with the assistance of the Revolutionary Guards and [its leader] Qasem Soleimani.”
Arouri led a Hamas delegation to Iran in October, meeting with senior Iranian officials, including international affairs adviser Ali Akbar Velayati and Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif. Arouri also met with Nasrallah in Beirut in early November, when the two agreed to strengthen their relationship.
Officials have repeatedly voiced concerns over the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah, which has at least 100,000 short-range rockets and several thousand more missiles that can reach central Israel. In addition to its massive arsenal of rockets and missiles, Hezbollah is able to mobilize close to 30,000 fighters and has flouted its system of tunnels – complete with ventilation, electricity and rocket launchers.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.