An Israeli drone struck a Hamas building in the southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital, Beirut, killing six people, Reuters reported. Among the dead was one of the leaders of Hamas, Saleh al-Arouri, and two commanders of its armed wing – the Al-Qassam brigades – the agency reported based on information from the Hamas Al Aqsa television. Hezbollah said it fired rockets in response, targeting a group of Israeli soldiers. – Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari announced the increased readiness of the military.
Reuters reported that among the dead were two commanders of the Al-Qassam brigades: Samir Findi Abu Amer and Azzam Al-Aqraa Abu Ammar, and one of the leaders, Saleh al-Arouri.
Saleh al-Arouri held a high position in the Hamas political office, but was also heavily involved in military affairs, Reuters reports. His death was confirmed to Reuters by three independent security sources on condition of anonymity.
Hezbollah’s Manar TV station told Reuters that the explosion was heard near the Hadi Nasrallah highway, next to a major road junction. No details of the explosion were provided, but it was emphasized that the explosion took place on the eve of an important speech by Hezbollah leader Hasan Nasrallah, scheduled for Wednesday. Reuters recalled that Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas, since the war broke out Israel with Hamas, it exchanges fire with Israel almost every day.
Hezbollah: This attack will not go unanswered and unpunished
In response to these events, Hezbollah said that the killing of leading Hamas representatives in Beirut was seen as a “serious attack on Lebanon.”
He added that the killing of Saleh al-Arouri along with Al-Qassam commanders “will not go unanswered and unpunished,” adding that he “keeps his finger on the trigger.” He also reported that in retaliation she fired rockets at a group of Israeli soldiers.
However, the Prime Minister Lebanon Naguib Mikati said that the Israeli attack was an attempt to draw Lebanon into the war. His office said he had asked his foreign minister to complain to the Security Council UN regarding all “new Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty.”
Israeli army spokesman: we are prepared for any scenario
Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari, asked to confirm that Israel was behind the killing of Saleh al-Arouri, replied: “We are focused on destroying Hamas.”
At the same time, he said that Israeli forces are “in a heightened state of readiness” and are “prepared for any scenario.”
Mark Regev, advisor to the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, said in an interview on MSNBC that Israel “takes no responsibility for this attack.” “But whoever did it must be clear – it was not an attack on the Lebanese state,” he said. “Whoever did this performed a surgical strike on the Hamas leadership,” he added, quoted by Reuters.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/ABBAS SALMAN