Reactions to the killing of Saleh al-‘Arouri

On the evening of January 2, 2024, an explosion occurred in the Musharrafiya area of the Dahiyeh, a southern suburb of Beirut. According to reports, the attack was carried out by an aircraft and targeted a building where a meeting of senior Hamas terrorists was being held. The attack killed Saleh al-‘Arouri, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau and responsible for the movement’s terrorist activities in Judea and Samaria. Six other terrorists were killed with him, two of them senior commanders of Hamas’ military-terrorist wing in Lebanon.

Hamas, Hezbollah and other members of the Iranian-led “resistance axis”[2] accused Israel and published notices condemning the killing, attacking Israel and calling for revenge. Hamas warned that Israel would be held responsible and officially reported it had decided to suspend the negotiations for a ceasefire and the release of the hostages. The Fatah movement also joined in the condemnation and announced a general strike as a sign of mourning. Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hezbollah, warned Israel and said that if Israel wanted to wage war with Lebanon, Hezbollah’s response would be “unlimited.” The Lebanese government began preparing a complaint for the UN Security Council against Israel regarding the incident.

Apparently, killing al-‘Arouri in the heart of Hezbollah’s stronghold embarrassed the organization, which sponsored the senior Hamas terrorist responsible for Hamas’ ties with Hezbollah and Iran, and perhaps gave it reason to be concerned about the welfare of its senior terrorist operatives, who are also concentrated in the district.

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