Israel killed a top Hamas commander in Lebanon this week, marking a potential expansion of the current war in the Middle East. The death of Saleh Arouri in the nation’s capital of Beirut could bring the terrorist group Hezbollah into the conflict.
Arouri and four others were killed by an Israeli drone. The death brought an announcement and a warning from the head of the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah. The group has skirmished with Israeli forces since the start of the current Israel-Hamas war on Oct. 7 but has avoided outright conflict.
The group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said that the group would retaliate against any Israeli strikes targeting Palestinians in the country.
The news was also confirmed both Hamas and Hezbollah officials.
The killing in Lebanon could represent a significant increase in fighting in the region from an Israeli standpoint, as well.
In November, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that if the country’s military “has launched an attack on Beirut, you will know that Hezbollah has crossed a red line.”
Israeli Minister of Defense, Yoav Gallant stated during a Press Conference on November 11th, “If you see that the IDF has launched an Attack on Beirut, you will know that Hezbollah has crossed a Red Line.” pic.twitter.com/fBIRguBWEm
— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) January 2, 2024
News reports indicate that Hezbollah aided the planning of the Oct. 7 terrorist attack that killed more than 1,200 Israelis. Both terrorist organizations are aided by Iran.
Following the death of the high-ranking official, Hamas announced that it was suspending discussions about the remaining more than 100 hostages still in their custody. The group said it would also halt potential peace talks.
Unconfirmed reports indicate that another high-profile Hamas official was killed in the Beirut airstrike. In addition, Israel has attacked a number of Hezbollah positions in the country, including after a number of rocket and drone attacks emanating from Lebanon.
Furthermore, Israel has launched a number of attacks targeting Iranian targets in Lebanon and Syria, including killing an Iranian Revolutionary Guards general last month.
The killing of Arouri came less than a week after Israel eliminated Adil Mismah, who had led part of the Oct. 7 attack against civilians. In Mismah’s case, he was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza.