The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas confirmed the death this Tuesday, January 2, of the number two in its political office, Saleh Al-Arouri, in the bombing with an Israeli drone on the outskirts of Beirut. The station affiliated with the Hezbollah group, Manar Television, indicated that an explosion affected the second floor of a building located in the highly populated suburb of Musharafieh, near the Hadi Nasrallah highway, which connects to the south of Beirut.
Hamas confirmed the death this Tuesday, January 2, of the number two in its political office, Saleh al Arouri, blaming “the Zionist occupation”, in reference to Israel, and assured that the bombing against his office in Beirut “proves once again the complete failure of this enemy to achieve any of its belligerent objectives in the Gaza Strip.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had threatened Al-Arouri even before the October 7 attacks, which sparked clashes between Israel and Hamas that have devastated much of Gaza.
The episode could represent an escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas in Lebanon, whose leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, has announced retaliation against any Israeli action directed against Palestinian leaders in Lebanese territory.
The attack was also rejected by Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who called the action “a new crime by Israel.”
Who was Al-Arouri?
The slain Palestinian militant was the vice president of Hamas’s political office, in charge of operations in the West Bank, founder of Hamas’ military wing, the Izzedin Al Qassam brigades, and deported from Israel in 2010.
Al-Arouri, 57, was accused by Tel Aviv and Washington of financing and directing Hamas military operations in the occupied West Bank, where he was from.
The man was on the list of people designated as terrorists by the United States and the State Department of that country had offered a five million dollar reward to anyone who offered information leading to his location.
Attacks on several fronts
Although the attack in southern Beirut was not immediately claimed by Israeli Army sources, its forces did confirm an offensive against “military objectives” in southern Lebanon, specifically against bases where Hezbollah would operate.
According to this information, the crossfire would have injured five soldiers and the operation would have included the use of aircraft to hit “a series of targets in Lebanon, including terrorist infrastructure, military posts in which Hezbollah terrorists were operating.”
The Lebanese group announced through its Telegram channel that three of its men had been killed during this offensive, “martyred on the road to (the liberation of) Jerusalem.”
With information from Reuters, AFP and AP