Nasrallah meets Nakhala as tensions flare in Lebanon, region


Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah met Monday with leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Ziyad al-Nakhala.

Nasrallah discussed with Nakhala the latest developments in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and on other fronts, Hezbollah said in a statement.

Since Oct. 8, Hezbollah has carried out 1013 attacks on northern Israel, in support of Gaza and Hamas.

On Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian met Nasrallah, caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati and parliament speaker Nabih Berri. During his visit to Beirut, an Israeli drone struck a car near the coastal town of Jadra about 60 kilometers from the Israeli border, making it one of the farthest inside Lebanon since Oct. 8. The strike killed at least two people and wounded two others. The previous farthest strike was the Jan. 2 attack that killed top Hamas official Saleh Arouri in Beirut.

On Saturday night, Israeli forces struck the southern Lebanese border village of Houla, killing one person and wounding nine, including children, as they left a mosque after prayers.

In an apparent reference to attacks by Iran-backed fighters in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, Amirabdollahian said that if the U.S. wants calm to prevail in the region, then "the mechanism and the solution is to stop the genocide, crimes and the war against Gaza and the West Bank."

The U.S. conducted Saturday "self-defense strikes" against two mobile unmanned surface vessels, four anti-ship cruise missiles, and one mobile land attack cruise missile in Yemen.

Since November, the rebels have repeatedly targeted ships in the Red Sea over Israel’s offensive in Gaza, imperiling a key route for trade between Asia, the Mideast and Europe.

In Syria, Israeli airstrikes hit several sites on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus, killing three people.

Tensions have also flared elsewhere in the region. A U.S. airstrike in Baghdad Wednesday killed a commander of Kataib Hezbollah, one of the most powerful armed groups in Iraq, as part of Washington's retaliation for the killing of three U.S. troops in Jordan last month.

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