Home » Deputy Leader of Hamas Killed in Beirut Drone Attack

Deputy Leader of Hamas Killed in Beirut Drone Attack

by ONUAH YVONNE

In a drone attack on a Hamas office in Beirut, Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy leader of Hamas, was confirmed to have been killed. The incident, reported by Hamas’ Al Aqsa Radio and Lebanon’s Mayadeen TV, cited security sources and resulted in six fatalities.

The drone strike took place in Beirut’s southern suburb of Daliyeh, highlighting the potential expansion of the Israel-Hamas conflict beyond the Gaza Strip. Hezbollah, a powerful ally of Hamas based in Lebanon, has engaged in frequent exchanges with Israel since the start of the Gaza war in early October.

Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, denounced the drone blast as an “Israeli crime” and expressed concerns about Lebanon being drawn into the ongoing conflict. While the Israeli military did not directly respond to inquiries, Mark Regev, an adviser to the Israeli Prime Minister, clarified on MSNBC TV that Israel hadn’t claimed responsibility for the attack. He described the strike as targeted against Hamas leadership, emphasizing that it was not directed at the Lebanese state.

Israel had previously accused Saleh al-Arouri of orchestrating attacks in the Israel-occupied West Bank. Al-Arouri had openly acknowledged threats from Israel and expressed expectations of martyrdom.

Imad Harb of the Arab Center Washington DC anticipates that Hezbollah might intensify attacks on Israel but avoid a full-scale war. He also predicts increased vigilance from Hezbollah and the possibility of more Hamas attacks originating from southern Lebanon. The incident underscores the complex dynamics in the region and the potential for conflicts to escalate beyond their initial theaters.

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