Senior Hamas figure killed in Beirut by Israeli drone attack, according to reports

Hamas Official Killed In Beirut Suburb
Image Credit: Al-monitor.com
BEIRUT, LEBANON – JANUARY 2: The Lebanese army surrounding the area near the damaged building that was targeted by an Israeli drone strike on January 2, 2024 in Dahiyeh, a suburb of Beirut, Lebanon. Shortly after the blast, Hamas confirmed the death of Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of its political bureau and two other officials. An earlier report from Lebanon’s National News Agency said four people had died in the blast and alleged it was an Israeli drone strike. (Photo by Marwan Tahtah/Getty Images)

Hamas has reported that Saleh al-Arouri, the head of the organization’s military arm in the occupied West Bank and the deputy chairman of the political bureau of Hamas, was killed in a drone assault in a Beirut suburb on Tuesday.

The main picture: Although two American and one Israeli official told our reporters that Israel was behind the assault, Israel has not claimed credit for the action. The operation deals a severe blow to Hamas and may force the militant Lebanese group Hezbollah to intensify its attacks against Israel.

  • The office of the Israeli prime minister chose not to respond.
  • A few weeks ago, Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, openly cautioned Israel against attempting to assassinate Hamas officials in Beirut. If it happened, he promised a fierce retaliation.

Creating the news: The organisation said on its Telegram channel that Al-Arouri, two Hamas leaders, and four other members of the group were murdered in the attack on a Hamas office in Beirut. The incident happened close to Hezbollah’s Beirut neighbourhood of Dahiyeh headquarters.

  • Al-Arouri was “one of the architects” of the terrorist strike against Israel on October 7, according to Hamas. Since the start of the Gaza conflict, he is the highest ranking Hamas commander to be slain.
  • A few weeks ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that he had given the Mossad intelligence agency orders to pursue Hamas leaders worldwide.
  • According to a senior Israeli official who spoke with our reporters, Israel is bracing for a major Hezbollah counterattack, which may involve the organisation firing long-range missiles against Israeli locations.

Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas, had his own opinion, calling Tuesday’s explosion a “blatant crime that demonstrates, once again, the brutality that is carried out by the occupation against our people.”

  • “We shall become stronger and more determined than before as a result of all these murders and attacks. This is our movement’s and the resistance’s history. “We consistently grow stronger and more resolute,” Haniyeh declared during a live speech.
  • According to him, the bombing constituted a “violation of Lebanese sovereignty.” The worker’s “occupation is responsible for any repercussions.”

Israel was responsible for Tuesday’s hit, according to two U.S. officials who spoke with Surge Insights’ reporters, but they emphasised that Israel didn’t alert the Biden administration beforehand.

  • While acknowledging that Israel did not alert the United States beforehand, a senior Israeli official stated that Israel informed the Biden administration “as the operation was happening.”

Acting Prime Minister Najib Mikati of Lebanon denounced the assault and labelled it “an Israeli crime” intended to entice Lebanon to join the conflict in Gaza.

  • Mikati urged the world community to put pressure on Israel to halt its offensives.

Context: The Israeli intelligence agencies considered Al-Arouri to be among their most sought targets. He is also subject to U.S. sanctions.

According to Israeli officials, he is to blame for the rise in assaults in the past year on Israeli residents in the West Bank.

Source:
https://www.axios.com/2024/01/02/hamas-saleh-arouri-killed-beirut-hezbollah-israel-gaza


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