Hamas, Houthis Hold Rare Meet To Discuss Their Actions Against Israel: Report

At least 31,490 people killed in Gaza Strip in Israeli retaliatory operations against Hamas (File)

Palestinian Territories:

Leaders of Hamas and Yemen’s Houthi rebels held an unusual meeting to discuss coordinating action against Israel, Palestinian faction officials told AFP on Friday.

Hamas and the Houthis are part of the “Axis of Resistance,” an Iranian-backed collection of movements hostile to Israel and the United States that also includes Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Iraqi militias.

The Houthis have been attacking ships in the Red Sea for months since the Israeli-Hamas war broke out on October 7, claiming they were targeting Israeli-linked vessels in solidarity with Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. did.

Leaders of two Palestinian Islamist groups and the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine held “important talks” with Houthi representatives last week, Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials said.

The groups discussed “mechanisms for coordinating resistance actions” for the “next phase” of the war in Gaza, the people said, without specifying where the meeting was held.

Palestinian groups and the Houthis also discussed a possible Israeli ground offensive on Rafah in southern Gaza, the people said on condition of anonymity.

According to the United Nations, around 1.5 million people have crammed into and around Rafah, Hamas’ last stronghold in Gaza, most of whom have been forced to flee and are crammed into Egypt’s border in dire living conditions.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office announced Friday that it had approved plans for a military operation in Rafah.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad sources confirmed that the Houthis will continue to attack ships in the Red Sea to “support the Palestinian resistance.”

Rebel leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi said Thursday that attacks would expand to target ships passing South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope and avoiding the Red Sea.

Hamas’ unprecedented attack on October 7 killed around 1,160 people in Israel, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally of official Israeli statistics.

Palestinian groups also held about 250 Israeli and foreign hostages, dozens of whom were released during a week-long ceasefire in November. Israel believes it has about 130 prisoners remaining in the Gaza Strip, 32 of whom are estimated to have died.

Israel’s retaliatory operations against Hamas have killed at least 31,490 people in the Gaza Strip, most of them women and children, according to the Gaza Strip Health Ministry.

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