OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
12:45 PM – Tuesday, January 2, 2024
The deputy leader of the Gaza-based terrorist organization Hamas was killed in an Israeli air strike, according to Hezbollah news outlets.
On Tuesday, a news broadcasting channel in connection to Hezbollah, called al-Mayadeen, reported that the high-profile Hamas leader, Saleh Al-Arouri, was killed in the Beirut town of Dahieh, located in Lebanon.
Al-Arouri oversaw the terrorist organization’s activities in the West Bank and is one of the founders of Hamas’ military wing.
Senior Hamas official Izzat al-Rishq made a statement regarding the situation.
“The cowardly assassinations carried out by the Zionist occupation against the leaders and symbols of our Palestinian people inside and outside Palestine will not succeed in breaking the will and steadfastness of our people or in undermining the continuation of their valiant resistance,” al-Rishq said in the statement, asserting that the strike “proves once again the abject failure of the enemy to achieve any of its aggressive goals in the Gaza Strip.”
With a $5 million United States bounty on his head, Israeli and United States national security officials suspected Al-Arouri of being involved in the financing and training of Hamas members who carried out the terrorist attack on October 7th in Israel, which resulted in at least 1,200 deaths and roughly 240 hostage abductions.
However, Israeli officials have not commented on the alleged strike, and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have not yet confirmed the situation.
“The IDF has no comment,” a spokesman said in a text message.
Al-Arouri, who was based in Lebanon and was said to be 57-years-old, was a significant figure in the political bureau of Hamas and was widely regarded as the de facto head of the organization’s armed wing in the West Bank.
In recent years, Al-Arouri had also taken a lot of trips, working in Qatar and Turkey before establishing a Hamas training facility in Lebanon for the Islamic extremist members.
Following the October 7th attack on Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed in November of 2023 that he had instructed Israel’s top intelligence agency, the Mossad, to locate and neutralize the heads of Hamas wherever they may be.
Udi Levy, the former head of economic warfare for Mossad made a statement about Al-Arouri in a piece published on October 20th.
“They are looking for him like the Americans were looking for bin Laden after 9/11,” said Levy. “He is a shadow guy. He is under the radar. And believe me, these are the dangerous people, people like that.”
On Tuesday, Levy verified Arouri’s death based on communications with the Israeli government.
“Yes, I’m very happy,” Levy told the press.
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