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BEIRUT: The leaders of the armed movements Hezbollah and Hamas have met in Beirut to discuss “the readiness of the axis of resistance” against Israel, a Hezbollah statement said Sunday.

Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, has been in the Lebanese capital since Wednesday.

Israel blamed Hamas for firing 34 rockets the following day toward its territory from southern Lebanon, the stronghold of the Iran-backed Shiite movement Hezbollah.

Israel’s army retaliated early Friday with strikes on both southern Lebanon and Gaza, after rockets targeting Israel were also fired from the coastal enclave.

During Haniyeh’s meeting with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah, the pair discussed “the readiness of the axis of resistance” and cooperation between its members in the face of recent developments, the Hezbollah statement said.

The “axis of resistance” refers to Lebanese, Palestinian, Syrian and other Iran-backed groups opposed to Israel.

The two also discussed “the intensification of resistance in the West Bank and Gaza” and “events at Al-Aqsa mosque” in Jerusalem, according to the statement, which did not specify when they met.

On Wednesday, Israeli police stormed the prayer hall of Al-Aqsa mosque, Islam’s third-holiest site, in a pre-dawn raid they said aimed at dislodging “law-breaking youths and masked agitators” who had barricaded themselves inside.

Following the strikes on Lebanon and Gaza, Israel announced early Sunday it had struck targets in Syria in response to six rockets fired from Syrian territory.

The army said two rockets landed in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, while air defence systems intercepted at least one.

The latest assaults on Israel, which were not immediately claimed, came after three people were killed in two separate attacks targeting Israelis in recent days.

On Friday, an Italian tourist was killed and seven other people wounded when an Israeli Arab ploughed a car into pedestrians at Tel Aviv’s seafront.

In an earlier attack on Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank, two British-Israeli sisters were killed and their mother seriously wounded when their car was fired on in the Jordan Valley.

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