Hamas has confirmed that Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy head of its political bureau, was killed in a blast in the Dahiyeh neighbourhood of the Lebanese capital Beirut yesterday.
Three other people were reported killed in the blast, which Lebanese state media said was caused by an Israeli drone strike
Al-Arouri was the deputy chief of Hamas’s political bureau and one of the founders of the Palestinian group’s armed wing, the Qassam Brigades.
He was born in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank in 1966 and had long been living in exile after spending 15 years in Israeli jails.
In recent weeks, he has acted as a spokesman for Hamas and its strategy in the war in Gaza, declaring last month that Hamas would not discuss a prisoner exchange deal before Israel ends its offensive on Gaza.
‘The resistance is ready for all the military scenarios,’ he said. ‘There is no fear or worry for the resistance. It will win.’
Al-Arouri was also a leading spokesman for a united Palestinian government.
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati slammed the Beirut explosion as a ‘new Israeli crime’, saying the killing of al-Arouri ‘aims to pull Lebanon into a new phase of confrontations in light of the ongoing daily attacks on the south of the country.’
Mikati also warned against ‘the Israeli political upper echelon resorting to exporting its failures in Gaza to the southern border to impose new facts on the ground and change the rules of engagement.’
Back in August, when Netanyahu threatened Palestinian leaders in Lebanon, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said the group would respond to attacks in the country.
‘Any assassination on Lebanese soil against a Lebanese, Palestinian, Iranian or Syrian person will be met with a strong response.
‘We cannot remain silent and allow opening the Lebanese scene to assassinations,’ Nasrallah said at the time.
Israel’s attack in the southern suburb of Beirut represents a major escalation in Israel’s war against Palestine.
A general strike has been called across the West Bank today in tribute to Saleh al-Arouri and demonstrations took place in the centre of Ramallah yesterday.
Over 22,000 Gazans killed in Zionist genocide
Israeli attacks continued across the Gaza Strip yesterday as the death toll in the enclave rose above the latest milestone of 22,000.
The total number of Palestinians killed in Gaza since October 7th stands at 22,185, while at least 57,000 have been injured, the Gaza Ministry of Health announced yesterday.
Some two-thirds of those killed amid Israel’s bombardment of Gaza are women and children.
Overall, 207 Palestinians have been killed in 15 Israeli attacks over the last 24 hours, the health ministry confirmed, adding that 338 were wounded.
There were massive explosions in Khan Younis with many roads and much infrastructure destroyed, preventing ambulances getting to the targeted sites.
Israeli forces hit a home in Deir el-Balah, – the majority of the dead were women and children.
In the Nuseirat refugee camp, also in central Gaza, at least one girl was killed and several others injured after an Israeli drone opened fire on the market.