May 28, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11357

Kuwaiti Daily: Hizbullah Intends To Use Anti-Aircraft Missiles Against Israeli Fighter Planes; The Iran-Led Resistance Axis Is Pressuring Hamas To Harden Its Stance In Negotiations With Israel

May 28, 2024
Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 11357

On May 27, 2024, the Kuwaiti daily Al-Jaridah reported that during the May 22, 2024 Tehran meeting of leaders of the various Iran-backed resistance axis factions, a plan was formulated for escalating military operations against Israel on all fronts, with Iran providing full support.

According to the report, the escalation on Israel's northern front, spearheaded by Hizbullah, will include use of long-range precision missiles, as well as the use of Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles with Iranian upgrades, with the goal of downing Israeli planes. The escalation also will include ambushes of Israeli forces and abduction of Israeli soldiers. In the Gaza Strip, Hamas was instructed to carry out a range of military operations throughout the entire Strip, to demonstrate that it still has its military capabilities.

The report also stated that in Hizbullah-Hamas talks following the Tehran meeting, Hamas was instructed, apparently at Iran's behest, to harden its stance in the negotiations with Israel and to reject any compromise. The only two options, Hamas was told, are all-out war, or an end to the war – that is, that Israel would agree to completely stopping the war. Hamas was also told that it must not agree to release all the hostages, since they are the only card it has to play and since Israel will surely resume the war after the hostages are released.

According to reports by media sources linked to the resistance axis, the Tehran meeting, which was held on the sidelines of the funeral of Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi, who died May 17 in a helicopter crash, participants at the meeting included IRGC commander Gen. Hossein Salami, IRGC Qods Force commander Gen. Esmail Qaani, Houthi spokesman Muhammad Abdulsalam, Hamas political bureau head Ismail Haniyeh, Hizbullah deputy leader Naim Qassem, and by representatives from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and Iran-backed Shi'ite militias in Iraq. It was also reported that the participants reiterated that the resistance factions throughout the region would continue their jihad until the "complete victory of the resistance in Gaza."[1]

Iran-backed resistance axis leaders at Tehran meeting. Source:, May 23, 2024.

Below are translated of excerpts from the Al-Jaridah report:[2]

"For the Lebanese Hizbullah, what happens on the ground is most important, and it has no option but to continue its military conflict [against Israel] in support of Gaza. It is ready to continue fighting for as long as the war drags on. Even though it believes that increasing military pressure on Israel will cause an increase in the domestic pressure on [Israeli Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu's government to seriously approach negotiations for an end to the war, it is also preparing for a scenario in which the negotiations fail due to Netanyahu's insistence on continuing military operations for the long term.

"Nobody knows how long the war will last, but Hizbullah stresses that it has informed all those concerned inside and outside [Lebanon] that its stance will not change, even if the war lasts [for long] months. Some estimate that the war will continue until after the U.S. [presidential] election this coming November..."

"These scenarios were examined at last week's meeting in Tehran that was attended by all the leaders of what is known as the 'resistance axis.'

"Sources close to Hizbullah have said that Tehran's decision was clear: To provide all assistance to its allies in the entire region, and that everybody is preparing for escalation if the attempts to reach a compromise that will lead to a ceasefire fail."

According to those sources, said the report, after the Tehran meeting there were contacts and coordination between Hizbullah and Hamas, during which "it was emphasized that there must be a close correlation between escalation and the negotiations, and that Hamas must harden its stance in the negotiations and refuse to make any compromises, since has no options other than all-out conflict or [forcing Israel to] end the war. Hence, there must be no possibility of a ceasefire and hostage release after which Israel will resume the fighting. The card of the hostages is the last and primary card that Hamas has for improving its situation."

The report goes on to state that this is the main reason that when the negotiations resumed, Hamas announced to all the mediators that its stance had not changed and that it continues to demand "an end to the fighting, an Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and the establishment of a lengthy timeline for handing over the hostages."

It adds that according to sources close to Hizbullah and Hamas, Israel will face a difficult situation with regard to the hostages, and Washington will only increase its pressure on Israel as the November presidential election approaches.

The report continued: "At the Tehran meeting, the participants also discussed how the military escalation on the fronts assisting [the Palestinians] will be carried out, and [also discussed] the military coordination with Hamas regarding the need to carry out more diverse military operations in the Gaza Strip and to change the geographical locations of its attacks, in order to show that Hamas still has its military capability to operate in the entire Strip, from north to south...

"With regard to Hizbullah, the sources said that everybody must wait for the surprises that its secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah, said that he is preparing for the Israelis.[3] According to the sources, the surprises will be along on two levels. The first level concerns the weapons that will be used in the future, which will include long-range precision missiles and ground-to-air missiles that can strike Israeli fighter planes. The sources said that according to the information available to them, Hizbullah will test these missiles, which are Russian-made and have been modified by Iran. If they succeed in striking or downing a plane, it will very much surprise the Israelis and the countries of the world, who are already impressed by the organization's ability to down Israeli Hermes drones.

"The second level concerns the quality of the operations, which might include ambushing Israeli patrols and surrounding them with fire, and, when necessary, infiltrating Israeli outposts or abducting soldiers. The sources stressed that Hizbullah has prepared a plan that will be carried out if necessary, [but] that it will not hasten to do this."


[2] Al-Jaridah (Kuwait), May 27, 2024

[3] In a May 24, 2024 speech at a ceremony honoring the deaths of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and other Iranian officials, Nasrallah said that Israel must wait for the "surprises" of the resistance. Source:, May 24, 2024.

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