Assassination Of Hamas Leader By Israel An Act Of Cowardice: Iran FM

(MENAFN- IANS) Tel Aviv, Jan 3 (IANS) Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on Wednesday condemned the death of Saleh al-Arouri, the Hamas deputy chief who was killed in an Israeli strike in Lebanon, and termed it as an act of cowardice by the Jewish nation.

In a statement, the Minister said that al-Arouri's "assassination" in Beirut on Tuesday was a“cowardly terrorist operation”.

“This proves that the Zionist regime has not achieved any of its goals after weeks of war crimes, genocide and destruction in Gaza and the West Bank despite the direct support of the US.”

Calling Israels a terror state, the Foreign Minister said the country has become a threat to the regional peace and security of people in neighbouring nations.

According to the Hamas, seven of its members, including several aides of al-Arouri, were killed in the attack which targeted an office of the militant group in the southern suburb of the Lebanese capital.

There was no immediate comment from Israel on the incident, but Israeli media, citing senior officials, said that the country was on high alert against "a significant retaliation" by Hamas or its Iranian-backed ally, Hezbollah, including the launching of precision weapons at Israeli cities.

In response to the incident, the Hamas also announced a freeze on ceasefire negotiations with Israel.

In recent weeks, Israeli officials threatened to assassinate Hamas leaders in Palestinian territories and beyond, particularly al-Arouri, who was accused by Israel of directly being responsible for the October 7, 2023 attack on southern Israel, which sparked the raging war in Gaza.

Al-Arouri, 57, is considered one of the prominent Hamas leaders, and a founder of the group's military wing, al-Qassam Brigades and its cells in the West Bank.

He was imprisoned in Israel for more than 18 years and was deported by Israeli authorities from Palestinian territories upon his last release in 2010.

In the same year, he was elected as a Hamas politburo member.

Al-Arouri became the No. 2 in the top Hamas leadership body in 2017.





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