Saleh al-Arouri, Hamas No. 2 killed in Hamas offices blast in Beirut

Hamas officially confirms death of Deputy chairman of Hamas’s political bureau dubbed architect of the October 7 attack; was 1of 4 killed in alleged Israeli drone strike

Saleh al-Arouri, deputy chairman of Hamas’s political bureau and a founder of the terror group's military wing was killed in a blast in the Hamas offices in Beirut's Dahieh quarter, a stronghold of the Iran-backed Hezbollah group, Hamas and Hezbollah said on Tuesday. Earlier reports said at least four people died in the blast.
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According to the reports from Beirut, explosions were heard in the Southern sector of the city and images from the scene show a house and car that were badly damaged.
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סאלח אל-עארורי
סאלח אל-עארורי
Saleh al-Arouri
Lebanese state media said the blast was caused by an Israeli drone strike.
Al-Arouri was commander of the military wing of Hamas in the West Bank and considered to have great influence in that area which he saw as a launch pad to disrupt Israeli security and where terror activity could divert attention from Gaza, a strategy he put into action successfully.
The 57-year old senior member of Hamas used his position over the West Bank to forge close ties with the radical Shi'ite groups and Iran.
When Israel was working to improve relations with Turkey after the death of Turkish activists during a flotilla attempting to reach Gaza in 2010, one of the Israeli demands were that al-Arouri who was living in Turkey, be expelled. He then moved to Qatar and after more Israeli pressure was forced to relocate to Beirut where he set up shop near the Hezbollah leadership in the Dahieh.
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תיעוד מהפיצוץ ברובע הדאחייה בביירות, לבנון
תיעוד מהפיצוץ ברובע הדאחייה בביירות, לבנון
Aftermath of an explosion in Beirut attributed to an Israeli drone strike on Tuesday
(Photo: Mohamed Azakir / Reuters)
There he strengthened ties with the Iran-backed group and established a local branch of Hamas made up mostly of Palestinians from South Lebanon's refugee camps. The force was not as big or strong as Hezbollah but had received military training, some from Iran, and a supply of rockets. Although he does not command the force, as a skilled politician who sought to increase his strength within Hamas, he advanced the group's presence in Lebanon.

Al-Arouri had threatened Israel with a massive response should there be targeted killing of Hamas leaders, after Israeli officials said publicly that they considered senior members of the terror group fair game. "There are those in Israel who want a regional war and who may think of the steps leader there," he said in the past. "Whoever is thinking of assassinations, knows it may lead to regional war."
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