Hamas, Hezbollah agree to uphold resistance against Israel (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By The Associated Press BEIRUT, Lebanon 01/31/05 00:34 (GMT+2)
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BEIRUT - Hezbollah and Hamas have agreed to uphold the resistance
option against Israel despite U.S. pressure on the militant Lebanese
and Palestinian groups, a Hezbollah statement said Sunday.
The agreement came in a meeting between Hamas leader Khaled Mashal
and Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah at the latter´s office in
The talks covered developments in the Arab region, "particularly
pressure to which the resistance and steadfastness forces in Syria
and Lebanon are subjected through [UN] Resolution 1559 and in
Palestine through the continuing (Israeli) aggression on the
Palestinian people," the statement said.
"Agreement was reached that the resistance and steadfastness option
is the only option in confronting the current pressure," it said.
UN Resolution 1559, passed last September, calls for the dismantling
of Hezbollah and armed Palestinian groups and a withdrawal of Syrian
troops from Lebanon.
Lebanon and Hezbollah have rejected the resolution, saying it
contained Israeli demands.
It was not immediately known whether a proposed Palestinian truce
with Israel was discussed by Mashal and Nasrallah. Mashal said last
week that his group is prepared to accept a temporary conditional
truce with Israel.
On Saturday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath announced in
Damascus that Hamas and Islamic Jihad, another militant group based
in Syria, have committed to a temporary cease-fire with Israel, but
only if the Jewish state halts attacks on Palestinian areas and
releases Palestinian prisoners.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad, branded terrorist organizations by the
United States, are responsible for killing scores of Israelis in
Israeli officials have accused Hezbollah of funding suicide bombings
Describing Hamas´ relationship with Hezbollah as "strong," Mashal
told reporters after meeting Nasrallah, "We are partners in this
march of confronting a common enemy. In the same way south Lebanon
was liberated, we have hope that all of Palestine will be liberated."
Hezbollah, a Syrian- and Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim group, led a
guerrilla war against Israel´s 18-year occupation of a border zone in
southern Lebanon that ended in 2000. Israel and the United States
consider Hezbollah a terrorist group, but Lebanon regards it as
legitimate resistance against Israeli occupation.
Mashal said that the "resistance program" was being fought regionally
and internationally, "particularly by the U.S. administration and the
"But the resistance program is making progress in various fields,
making successes and winning the support and confidence of our
Palestinian people inside and outside (Palestinian areas)," Mashal
said, apparently referring to Hamas´ strong showing in last week´s
municipal elections in the Gaza Strip. (© Copyright 2005 Haaretz.
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