Israel takes out deputy head of Hamas in drone attack on Beirut suburb, well inside Hezbollah territory
By Ethan Huff // Jan 04, 2024

Hamas has officially confirmed the death of high-ranking political official Saleh al-Arouri, who was reportedly killed by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in a drone attack on a suburb of Beirut.

Though IDF has yet to take responsibility for the attack, al-Arouri, Hamas' deputy leader abroad, died in an Israeli strike on the Beirut suburb of Dahiyeh, this according to the Hezbollah-linked Al-Mayadeen.

The 57-year-old headed up Hamas' political bureau and was considered to be the de facto leader of Hamas' military wing in the West Bank. According to Israeli intelligence, al-Arouri helped plan the June 2014 kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens: Gil-ad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel, as well as several other attacks.

Al-Arouri had previously served multiple stints in Israeli jails before being released in March 2010 as part of an endeavor to reach a larger prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit, an IDF corporal who was kidnapped by Hamas in 2006.

Having served as both the founding commander of Hamas' military wing, the Qassam Brigades, and as Deputy Chairman of the Political Bureau of Hamas, al-Arouri is one of the highest-ranking Hamas figures to ever be assassinated by Israel. Hamas also confirmed the deaths of two other members of the Qassam Brigades in the attack.

(Related: Previously unreleased footage shows that an Israeli tank, and not Hamas militants, killed civilians in Kibbutz Be'eri on October 7.)

Middle Eastern conflict intensifying

An Al-Mayadeen correspondent in the southern suburbs of Beirut confirmed that six people total were killed as a result of three missile attacks from a low-flying Israeli drone that struck the building from the sky.

These deaths are considered to be an "escalatory event" in that the Middle Eastern conflict is now likely to worsen. Fears are growing that Iran is the next country to get deeply involved now that Israel is moving north into Lebanon where Hezbollah, backed by Iran, is active.

Meanwhile, Israel is promising even more targeted assassinations of top Hamas leadership.

The southern suburbs of Beirut where all of this action is taking place is considered to be a stronghold of Hezbollah. Washington Post Beirut correspondent Sarah Dadouch confirmed that a large explosion occurred in Beirut's Dahieh neighborhood, explaining that "a Hezbollah spokesman told me a Palestinian official headquarters was targeted in Dahieh."

Lebanese state media issued a statement about the incident claiming that an Israeli drone had targeted the Hamas office in Dahieh. At least four people died and several others were wounded, according to the Lebanese News Agency, whose four deaths figure deviates from the six deaths figure reported by Al-Mayadeen.

While it is certainly nothing new for Israel to have conducted targeted operations such as this on Hamas offices in Beirut, this particular escalation is likely to really rile up Hezbollah, which is promising to provide protection for the Palestinians currently in Israel's crosshairs.

The latest news about Israel's war on Gaza can be found at

Sources for this article include:

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