Earlier today, Hamas deputy leader and al-Qassam Brigades founder Saleh al-Arouri, along with al-Qassam commanders Samir Findi and Azzam al-Aqra, were killed during an Israeli drone strike targeting a Hamas office in Beirut, Lebanon.
Al-Arouri’s death will likely be a considerable blow to Hamas, as he was the leader of the group in the West Bank and the second in charge of the political bureau. Likewise, al-Arouri was a key figure in Hamas relations with Hezbollah and Iran.
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Following the strike, armed Palestinian factions, Hezbollah, and the Houthis vowed retaliation and response.
In a video statement, head of the Hamas Political Bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, stated that “The zionist occupation’s assassination of leader Al-Arouri and his brothers is a complete act of terrorism and a violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty, expanding the scope of its aggression on our people and our nation.”
The pure blood of the martyred leader Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri and his brothers has mingled with the blood of tens of thousands of martyrs of our people in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, and abroad. The Sheikh and his brothers have achieved their highest aspirations on the path of thorns, leaving behind valiant men who carry the flag after them, continuing the journey.”
“A movement that offers its leaders and founders as martyrs for the dignity of our people and nation will never be defeated. These attacks only strengthen its strength, resilience, and unwavering determination. This is the history of the resistance and the movement: following the assassination of its leaders, it becomes even stronger and more determined,” he added.
The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine released a statement that read “We mourn the martyr, the great national leader, Sheikh Saleh Al-Arouri, deputy head of the political bureau of the Hamas movement, who carried out a cowardly Zionist assassination in the southern suburb of Beirut.”
It added that “We affirm that this cowardly operation and the martyrdom of Sheikh Saleh will not break the will of our people, but rather will increase his revolutionary action and valiant resistance, and it will be a fire. A curse on the Zionist enemy.”
The Palestine Islamic Jihad released a statement that read “Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri was one of the distinguished and devoted leaders of the Palestinian people. We have lost him when we needed his presence the most. He was a leader who instilled confidence and tranquility in those around him and those he dealt with. We have lost him as a leader and a person who believed in the justice of the Palestinian people’s fight until martyrdom, and he achieved it in the glory of Palestine and the resistance, in its glory that is manifested today in the jihad and heroism of the Palestinian people in Gaza, the West Bank, across Palestine, and beyond. We pray to Allah to accept him graciously.”
Hezbollah released a statement that read “We consider the crime of assassinating Sheikh Saleh Al-Arouri and his fellow martyrs in the heart of the southern suburb of Beirut to be a serious assault on Lebanon, its people, its security, sovereignty, and resistance, and the highly symbolic and significant political and security messages it contains, and a dangerous development in the course of the war between the enemy and the axis of resistance.”
“We affirm that this crime will never pass without response and punishment, and that our resistance to its pledge is steadfast, proud, and faithful to its principles and commitments that it has made to itself, its hand is on the trigger, and its resistors are in the highest levels of readiness and preparedness, and this is a memorable day for what follows,” it added.
The Houthis released a statement that read “We extend our condolences to the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas on the martyrdom of the deputy head of the movement’s political bureau, Sheikh Saleh Al-Arouri, following the cowardly Israeli assassination that targeted him in the southern suburb of Beirut. We strongly condemn the assassination, which constitutes a treacherous aggression against Lebanon, and we affirm our support for the resistance movements in Palestine and Lebanon.”