Hamas’ 2nd In Charge Reportedly Killed By Drone

Israel has killed a deputy leader of Hamas who was hiding out in the Lebanese capital city of Beirut.

According to both Palestinian and Lebanese security sources, a drone sent by Israel killed Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut.

One media outlet in Hamas and one in Lebanon that’s pro Iran confirmed that Arouri was killed by a drone strike at an office for Hamas in the southern part of Beirut. Six people were killed in the attack, which hit the Daliyeh suburb.

Arouri was a co-founder of the military wing of Hamas, called the Qassam Brigades. He was also a member of the politburo for the Palestinian Islamist movement.

The attack underscores the concern that the war that’s waging between Israel and the terrorist organization Hamas mostly in Gaza right now could easily spread and expand beyond that enclave.
In recent weeks, Hezbollah – a militant group backed by Iran and an ally of Hamas – has been engaging in fighting with Israel near Lebanon’s southern border almost every day.

After the strike was carried out, Najib Mitaki, the caretaker prime minister of Lebanon, said it was a “new Israeli crime” and an attempt to ultimately pull the country into the war.

Israel didn’t respond to media questions about the drone strike, since officials there say they don’t comment on reports that are published in foreign media outlets.

One of the Israeli prime minister’s advisers, Mark Regev, gave an interview to MSNBC TV and said Israel “has not taken responsibility for this attack.” He added:

“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.”

Israel has long accused Arouri of ordering Hamas attacks against Israelis in the West Bank, in retaliation for Israel pounding Gaza.

In August, Arouri outlined the threats that Israel has made to eliminate all leaders of Hamas, whether they live in Gaza or in another country when he said:

“I am waiting for martyrdom (death) and I think I have lived too long.”

While Israel announced this week that its war was entering a new phase — with some troops being withdrawn from Gaza — it still said the fighting is expected to continue long into 2024.
In just the last 24 hours, there have been 207 people who have been killed, according to the Gaza health ministry. That means that in just about three months of the war, more than 22,000 Palestinians have been killed.

Yoav Gallant, the defence minister in Israel, spoke with Israeli troops in Gaza recently, a meeting that was broadcast on TV in the country. He spoke about the military operations that were happening near Khan Younis, the main city in southern Gaza, and how they were now concentrating on regions that were above Hamas’ tunnel network where their leaders are known to be in hiding.
Gallant said to the troops:

We are reaching them all ways. There already is engagement and there are (Israeli) hostages there, too, sadly. This will continue as high-intensity efforts in the heart of Khan Younis.”