Ramadan Abdullah Shalah, secretary-general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, gave a speech at the Sixth International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada in Tehran, during which he called for the need to unify fronts between Palestinian factions in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, in anticipation of Israel waging a war against either one.
This was not the first time a Palestinian figure made such a call. On Jan. 22, 2015, a similar call came from Mohammed al-Deif, the commander of Hamas’ military wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. Deif wrote a letter to Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary-general of Hezbollah, to express condolences following the death of Hezbollah members killed in the Syrian town of Quneitra by an Israeli raid on Jan. 18, 2015. In the letter, Deif called on the need to unify efforts within the Arab and Islamic nation to fight a single battle against Israel.
Shalah’s suggestion, to which Hezbollah has yet to publicly respond, raises questions in the Palestinian street about the timing and goals of this call. The Palestinian Authority opposed this call, which was backed by Hamas and other Palestinian factions. For their part, Israeli media outlets, such as Channel 20, expressed concerns about Shalah’s call.