Lebanon PM condemns Israel killing of Hamas deputy leader in Beirut

AFP , Tuesday 2 Jan 2024

Lebanon's prime minister condemned Israel's killing of Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Aruri in Beirut's southern suburb on Tuesday, saying the attack "aims to draw Lebanon" further into the Gaza war.


"Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemned the explosion in the southern suburbs of Beirut that killed and injured many," his office said in a statement.

The attack "aims to draw Lebanon into a new phase of confrontations" with Israel, added the statement.

It comes at a time when Hamas ally Hezbollah has been exchanging daily cross-border fire with Israeli forces in southern Lebanon.

A high-level security official in Beirut told AFP that Aruri was killed in the Israeli strike along with his bodyguards in the Lebanese capital's southern suburbs, which is a stronghold of Hamas ally Hezbollah.

Saleh Al-Aruri was killed in a "treacherous Zionist strike" but this will not "undermine the continued brave resistance" in Gaza where the resistance group is battling the occupied Israeli forces, Hamas said on its official channel.

​"The assassination of the group's deputy head proves once more the utter failure of the enemy to achieve any of its aggressive goals in the Gaza Strip," senior Hamas official Izzat Al-Rishq said in a statement.

Shortly after the start of its war on Gaza, Israel "vowed" to assassinate Hamas leaders in exile around the world.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has previously vowed that the Lebanese resistance will respond to any Israeli assassination on Lebanon's soil.

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