Drone Attack: Israel Neutralises Hamas Deputy Leader In Lebanon

  • Hezbollah threatens ‘punishment’ for al-Arouri killing
  • Says our finger “is on the trigger”

Israeli drone has reportedly killed Hamas Deputy Leader, Saleh al-Arouri, in an attack on Hamas office in Beirut, Lebanon.

Confirmation of the development came from Hamas’ Al Aqsa Radio and Lebanon’s pro-Iranian Mayadeen TV with both news outlets quoting security sources that al-Arouri was killed on Tuesday when a drone struck a Hamas office in south Beirut.

The late Arouri was a member of the feared Palestinian Islamist Movement’s politburo based abroad and a co-founder of Hamas’ Military wing, the Qassam Brigades,

According to the competent sources, six persons were killed in the drone attack that occurred in the City’s southern suburb of Daliyeh

This is as the Lebanese State news agency reported that the Israeli Military have continued to expand their areas of attack to underline the fact that the Israel-Hamas war is fast spreading well beyond the Gaza Strip.

There have been confirmed reports also that Lebanon’s heavily armed Hezbollah group, a Hamas ally, has been exchanging near-daily fire with Israel across Lebanon’s southern border since the Gaza war erupted in early October 2023.

Meanwhile, Lebanon’s Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati has condemned the drone attack as a “new Israeli crime”, noting that it was an attempt by the enemy to pull Lebanon into war.

However, responding to enquiries from Reuters, the Israeli military authorities maintained that they do not respond to reports carried in the foreign media.

In an interview with MSNBC TV, Mark Regev, an adviser to Benjamin Netayanhu, the Israeli Prime Minister, said Israel “has not taken responsibility for this attack. But whoever did it, it must be clear – this was not an attack on the Lebanese state … Whoever did this did a surgical strike against the Hamas leadership”.

Before this latest development, Israel had accused Arouri of supervising and ordering Hamas attacks in the Israel-occupied West Bank in support of militants fighting Israel’s devastating air and ground offensive in Gaza

“I am waiting for martyrdom (death) and I think I have lived too long,” Arouri said in August 2023, alluding to Israeli threats to eliminate Hamas leaders whether in Gaza or abroad

Also commenting on the drone attack, Imad Harb, Director of Research at the Arab Center Washington DC, said it should be expected of Hezbollah to likely step up attacks on Israel in response to the killing of Saleh al-Arouri.

Harb, who only stopped short of inputting the likelihood of the recent attack escalating the conflict into an all-out war, told Al Jazeera; “It (Hezbollah) may also respond by allowing more Hamas attacks from southern Lebanon on Israel. And definitely, it’s going to be more vigilant regarding its own leaders”.

But further claiming that neither Israel nor Hezbollah appear interested in “blowing up the front” completely, Al Jazeera quoted Harb as saying; “I think the Israelis are counting on Hezbollah being a little more cautious. That’s why they did what they did.”

Hezbollah Plots Revenge

In its official reaction to the incident, the Islamic militant group in Lebanon, Hezbollah says its finger “is on the trigger” as plots thickens to response to the death of Hamas senior leader, Saleh al-Arouri in an explosion in Beirut Tuesday that it blames on Israel.

The “assassination” of Arouri and two other senior Hamas figures among six deaths in the reported drone striker is “a serious assault on Lebanon”, the group said in a post Tuesday night on Telegram

“[It is] a dangerous development in course of war between the enemy and the axis of the resistance… [that] will not go without a response or punishment. The resistance has its finger on the trigger”, the group warned. – With agency reports

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