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Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri

Hamas' 2nd in Command Killed in Beirut Explosion

Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy chairman of Hamas’ political bureau, was killed in an explosion in the neighborhood of Dahieh in southern Beirut Tuesday evening, January 2, Arabic and Hezbollah media sources reported.

Al-Arouri was considered the ‘number two’ of the terrorist organization under Ismail Haniyeh and was responsible for terrorist activity in Judea and Samaria. He once admitted Hamas’ responsibility for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in 2014. He was close to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

According to one report, Al-Arouri was killed in a strike on an apartment building by an Israeli drone. Videos from the scene show nearby vehicles set on fire from the blast.

Lebanese media reported that the raid killed four and injured several others. The building said to house Hamas’ offices is in Dahieh, an area in Beirut’s southern suburbs which is also a stronghold of the Iran-backed Hezbollah. The blast reportedly occurred while al-Arouri was in a meeting with other terrorist operatives from Hamas and Hezbollah.

According to reports, one of the operatives who was killed in the strike together with al-Arouri was Khalil al-Hayya, a senior member of the Hamas political wing.

The Prime Minister of Lebanon, Najib Mikati, reacted to the assassination and said: “The explosion in Dahieh is an Israeli crime aimed at dragging Lebanon into a new phase of conflict. It casts a shadow on Lebanon and is a clear response to our efforts to distance the fighting spirit in Gaza from Lebanon.” (INN / VFI News)

“Lord, we pray for the elimination of all Hamas terrorists and that Israel will be kept safe from terror attacks in the future. We are grateful for our military forces and we pray that You guide them into protecting our citizens and ensuring our security and prosperity.”

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