Lebanon shares details on targeting killing of Hamas leader in Beirut

Jerusalem has not claimed credit for the assassination of Hamas’ No. 2 in Beirut Tuesday.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A Lebanese security official told AFP Wednesday that Hamas deputy head Saleh Al-Arouri was assassinated by missiles fired by a manned plane of the Israeli air force, contrary to previous reports.

The official, who was reportedly told details of the initial local investigation into the targeted killing, said that “an Israeli jet” flew into the Dahiyeh quarter of Beirut, a known Hamas stronghold, and fired six “guided missiles.” Two, he said, did not explode, while “two penetrated the roof and destroyed two floors before directly hitting the meeting room of senior Hamas officials.”

“The missiles were of a variety used by Israel’s air force,” he maintained, describing them as 100-kilo projectiles. To back up his contention further, he added that “The Lebanese army had [previously] found the remains of similar missiles that Israel had fired in southern Lebanon.”

Lebanese media had originally reported that the strike was carried out by a UAV.

Israel has not taken credit for the airstrike, which killed six other senior Hamas terrorists as well as Arouri, the longtime No. 2 to Hamas political head Ismail Haniyeh who liaised with both Hezbollah chiefs and top leaders of their mutual paymaster, Iran.

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Hamas itself said that Arouri was one of the select few who planned the terrorists’ massacre of 1,200 people in Gazan envelope communities three months ago, which sparked the ongoing war as Israel declared it would destroy the organization to completely erase it as a future threat.

The closest an Israeli official came to assuming responsibility was Mossad head David Barnea saying Wednesday at the funeral of one of his predecessors, Zvi Zamir, that “Any Arab mother should know that if her son took part, directly or indirectly, in the October 7 massacre, his blood is forfeit.”

Israeli officials have said that they would hunt down both Hamas leaders and anyone who had participated in the atrocities that included torture, mass rapes, the burning alive of families, and beheading of infants. The Shabak formed a special unit to find all the perpetrators and kill them, much as it did to the terrorists who took part in the infamous Munich Olympics attack in 1972, even though it took years to locate them all.

Hezbollah and Hamas immediately blamed Israel, with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah saying that “We…affirm that this crime will never pass without a response and punishment.”

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller seemed to distance the U.S. from the assassination while hinting that the Iranian proxies were correct.

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In answer to a reporter’s question on the assassination during a press briefing Wednesday, Miller said, “I don’t have an assessment to make about who was responsible for that incident. I’ll leave it to the government of Israel to speak to their actions.”