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HomeNewsHamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri killed in Beirut blast

Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri killed in Beirut blast

Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri killed in Beirut blast

Israel emphasized that the killing of a Hamas leader in Beirut was not intended as an assault on Lebanon, despite warnings from its adversaries threatening repercussions for his demise.

An Israeli spokesman said Saleh al-Arouri had died in a “surgical strike against the Hamas leadership”.

Hamas criticized the death, whereas Hezbollah, its supporter, labeled it as an attack on Lebanon’s independence.

Lebanon’s prime minister, meanwhile, accused Israel of trying “to drag Lebanon into… confrontation”.

Lebanese news sources indicate that Arouri, a deputy political chief of Hamas, and six others, including two leaders from the Hamas military and four additional members, were reportedly killed in a drone attack in southern Beirut.

He played a significant role within the Qassam Brigades, the armed faction of Hamas, and maintained a close relationship with Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas. He had been in Lebanon facilitating communication between his group and Hezbollah.

Israeli spokesman Mark Regev stopped short of confirming Israel had carried out the assassination, a standard position for Israeli officials, but he told MSNBC: “Whoever did it, it must be clear that this was not an attack on the Lebanese state.

“It was not an attack even on Hezbollah, the terrorist organization.

“Whoever did this did a surgical strike against the Hamas leadership. Whoever did this has a gripe with Hamas. That is very clear.”

Arouri, aged 57, is the highest-ranking Hamas member to have been killed since Israel engaged in conflict with the organization following its attack on October 7th.

That day saw incursions by Hamas militants into Israel, striking bordering communities, resulting in the deaths of approximately 1,200 individuals, predominantly civilians. Additionally, around 240 people were taken hostage and transported to Gaza.

Israel launched a military offensive in response, with the declared aim of destroying Hamas.

Afterward, over 22,000 Palestinians, predominantly women and children, lost their lives in Gaza due to Israeli airstrikes, as reported by Gaza’s health ministry controlled by Hamas.

Hezbollah launched numerous rockets into Israel and engaged in multiple skirmishes with Israeli forces amid the conflict in Gaza.

The official news agency of Lebanon reported that Arouri was fatally struck by an Israeli drone while targeting a Hamas facility in the Dahiyeh neighborhood in southern Beirut.

A Reuters news agency witness observed firefighters and paramedics gathered near a tall building, where they were clustered around a significant opening on what seemed to be the third floor.


Video clips shared on social media depicted a vehicle engulfed in fire and significant destruction to structures within a bustling residential vicinity.

Dahiyeh is known as a stronghold of Hezbollah.

Mr Haniyeh, the head of Hamas’s political wing, called the attack a “cowardly… terrorist act, a violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty, and an expansion of its circle of aggression”.

Hezbollah said that it considered Arouri’s death “to be a serious assault on Lebanon, its people, its security, sovereignty, and resistance, and the highly symbolic and significant political and security messages it contains”.

It said the attack was “a dangerous development in the course of the war… and we in Hezbollah affirm that this crime will never pass without response and punishment.

“Its hand is on the trigger, and its resistors are in the highest levels of readiness and preparedness,” it added.

Iran, a major supporter of both groups, said Arouri’s killing would “undoubtedly ignite another surge in the veins of resistance”.

An Israeli security cabinet meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening to discuss the post-war plan for Gaza was canceled.

The Lebanese Foreign Minister, Abdallah Bou Habib, told BBC Radio 4 that his government was talking to Hezbollah to “impress on them that they should not respond themselves” but that: “We don’t tell them, we dialogue with them in this regard.”

Over the next 24 hours it will become clear “whether they respond or not”, he said, adding: “We are very concerned, [the] Lebanese don’t want to be dragged, even Hezbollah does not want to be dragged into a regional war.”

And he called on the West to “pressure Israel to stop also all its violence and all of its actions, not only on Lebanon, not only on Beirut but also in Gaza”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously promised to remove the leaders of Hamas, no matter their location.

Arouri was seen as the effective head of Hamas’s military branch in the West Bank, supervising operations in the region, as per reports from Israeli media.

Reports suggest that he is suspected to have participated in the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank under Israeli control back in 2014. Additionally, he had been imprisoned in Israeli facilities previously for his involvement in other assaults.

The Times of Israel says he was also one of the Hamas officials most closely connected to Iran and Hezbollah.

Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri killed in Beirut blast