Photo Credit: Screenshot
Hamas deputy political chief Salah al-Arouri presents an image of Jerusalem to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran, July 22, 2019.

An Israeli drone strike on a Hamas office in Beirut eliminated top terror chief Saleh al-Arouri on Tuesday night, Hamas’s Al-Aqsa Radio announced.

The explosion rocked the south Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, a Hezbollah stronghold. In addition to al-Arouri, at least three other Hamas terrorists were also killed in the blast, Reuters reported.


Al-Arouri, the commander of Hamas operations in Judea and Samaria, as well as the deputy politburo chief under Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh, had been based in Lebanon in recent years.

He was one of the top Hamas leaders on Israel’s target list following the terrorist group’s Oct. 7 massacre of at least 1,200 people in the northwestern Negev.

In a statement cited by Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya channel on Tuesday, Hamas described al-Arouri as the “architect” of the massacre.

Al-Arouri was informed of the impending invasion half an hour beforehand so he could alert Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, French outlet Le Figaro reported last week.

Also killed in the attack was Abu Amar Samir Fandi, commander of Al-Qassam in Lebanon, and an Al-Qassami commander Azzam al-Iqra.

Local media said Nasrallah canceled a speech scheduled for Wednesday following the reports of al-Arouri’s death.

Israel is anticipating a response to the alleged assassination, according to Hebrew-language media, including possible long-range rocket fire from Lebanon.

During a Nov. 3 speech, Nasrallah threatened the Jewish state, telling Israelis that a preemptive strike against Lebanon would be “the most foolish mistake you make in your entire existence.”

The Hezbollah leader has repeatedly warned that any assassination in Lebanese territory would be met with a “strong reaction.”

Israeli forces raided a home in Samaria belonging to al-Arouri on Oct. 21, detaining more than 20 people, including one of his brothers and nine of his nephews.

Al-Arouri is credited with orchestrating the relationship between Hamas and Iran, and also played a key role in re-establishing the Palestinian terrorist group’s ties with Damascus, which were severed in 2012 during the Syrian civil war.

He was recruited into Hamas in 1985 while studying Sharia law at Hebron University and had served 18 years in Israeli prisons. He was deported to Syria in 2010.


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