Reactions to Israeli assassination of Hamas deputy leader

Reactions to Israeli assassination of Hamas deputy leader

Israel has assassinated yesterday in Beirut, Lebanon the deputy chairman of the political bureau of Hamas, Saleh al-Arouri. Samir Findi Abu Amer and Azzam Al-Aqraa Abu Ammar, leaders of Hamas’ armed wing – the Qassam Brigades – were also killed, Hamas said in a message on its Telegram channel. It named four other members of the group who were also killed.

Here are some reactions to the assassination:

– Saleh al-Arouri’s mother in an interview with Al Jazeera: “My son always wanted martyrdom, and he achieved it”;

– Hamas leader Haniyeh said “The murder of commander Al-Arouri and his men by the Zionists is a real act of terrorism, a violation of Lebanese sovereignty;

– Member of the Hamas Political Bureau, Izzat al-Rishq, said in a statement, “The cowardly assassinations carried out by the Zionist occupation against the leaders and symbols of our Palestinian people inside and outside Palestine will not succeed in breaking the will and steadfastness of our people or undermining the continuation of their valiant resistance.”

– Adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader: “Washington and its allies must recognize that resistance groups will respond appropriately to Al-Arouri’s killing”.

– Yemeni Foreign Ministry: “The murder of Al-Arouri is a dangerous Zionist escalation and a flagrant violation of international law and Lebanese sovereignty”.

– Yemen’s Ansarullah spokesman Mohammad Abdul Salam condemned the Israeli aggression on Lebanon, reiterating solidarity with the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance groups.

– Lebanese Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemned the explosion that occurred in the southern suburbs and led to casualties and injuries.

Mikati said, “This explosion is a new Israeli crime that definitely aims to bring Lebanon into a new phase of confrontations after the ongoing daily attacks in the south, which lead to the fall of a large number of martyrs and wounded. Also, this explosion is definitely an implication for Lebanon and a clear response to the efforts that we are making.” To remove the specter of the ongoing war in #Gaza from Lebanon, we call on the countries concerned to put pressure on Israel to stop its targeting, and we also warn against the Israeli political level resorting to exporting its failures in Gaza towards the southern border to impose new facts and rules of engagement.”

Lebanon’s security chief denounces ‘attack on Lebanese sovereignty’

Abbas Ibrahim said in a social media post that the killing of Saleh al-Arouri is an Israeli attempt to “run to the front after failing to achieve any victory in Gaza other than war crimes and massacres”.

After the assassination, Ibrahim also raised questions about the fate of UN Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Lebanon and Hezbollah and prohibited the sides from attacking each other.

– Lebanese Communist Party: “This crime is a flagrant attack on Lebanese sovereignty and a continuation of Zionist crimes against the Palestinian people”;

– The Palestinian Fatah movement in Lebanon condemned, in a statement, “the cowardly assassination of Saleh al-Arouri, an important Palestinian leader of Hamas, and his comrades”. He expressed his “condolences to Hamas, the families of the martyrs and all the Palestinians” and pledged to “continue the struggle until the victory, liberation and formation of an independent [Palestinian] state with Jerusalem as its capital and the return of [Palestinian] refugees to their homeland”.

– Houthis: “We express our condolences to the Islamic resistance movement Hamas, the Palestinian people in connection with the martyrdom of commander Saleh al-Arouri and his comrades”;

– Hezbollah: “After 90 days, the enemy has still not been able to subjugate Gaza. He now resorts to a policy of assassination and physical elimination of everyone who worked, planned, carried out or supported Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. We confirm that this crime will not go unanswered and unpunished.”

– Netanyahu Advisor: “We have made it clear that all those involved in the October 7 massacre are terrorists and our legitimate targets. We do not take responsibility. The attack was not directed against the Lebanese government or Hezbollah.

Assassinated commanders always replaced by ‘more extreme and more radical’ figures: Gideon Levy

The Haaretz columnist tells Al Jazeera that the policy of assassinating Palestinian leaders has not led to their replacement by figures more amenable to Israel.

“Cemeteries all over the Middle East are full of graves of all kinds of senior commanders that Israel has assassinated throughout the years, and the outcome was almost always the same,” Levy said. “The ones who replace were almost always more extreme and more radical than those who are in the cemeteries.”

Abbas Djuma, Russian journalist of Syrian origin, commented on his telegram channel:

As you know, in addition to the Palestinians, the Lebanese Hezbollah is actively fighting the Israeli army. True, this confrontation has not yet developed into a full-scale war.

Against this background, the murder of al-Arouri puts Hezbollah in an extremely difficult position. Opponents of the Lebanese Shiite Party have already begun to develop training manuals. Some write about a severe blow to the image of Hezbollah, since the terrorist attack occurred in the south of Beirut in Dahiya, which is under the control of Hezbollah. And it’s really difficult to argue with this thesis. The security system built by Hezbollah, which is considered one of the best not only in Lebanon but throughout the region, was breached. The blow was struck to the very heart. Hezbollah failed to provide security for a key Hamas leader.

And some even suggest that Israel and Hezbollah are in agreement. They say that Israel would not have decided on such insolence if it had not received a guarantee from Hezbollah that an attack on Beirut would not entail the opening of a full-fledged front on the Lebanese-Israeli border. This idea, in particular, was expressed by the famous Algerian propagandist Anwar Malek, who now lives in France. Of course, he has no evidence. Such unfounded statements are needed solely to discredit Hezbollah and cause a split in the ranks of the Resistance. More broadly, this is an attempt to turn the Arab Sunni street, sympathetic to the Palestinians, against Iran.

Thus, Hezbollah cannot leave Israel’s attack unanswered. Inaction will, as it were, prove the truth of the words of Anwar Malek and others.

Russian military expert Boris Rozhin said after Israel killed the deputy head of the Hamas politburo, the Palestinians suspended all negotiations with Israel on the exchange of hostages. With the current course of the Netanyahu government, it is obvious that a significant part of the hostages are unlikely to survive to be returned to Israel.

Israeli demands for the return and exchange of hostages will continue to put increasing pressure on the Netanyahu government.

United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken decided to delay his visit to Israel to next week, The Times of Israel reported on Tuesday, citing an anonymous US official with knowledge of the matter. Reports also circulate that the US has withdrawn its aircraft carrier Gerald Ford from the region.

US Department of State warns Israeli government of “inflammatory statements” 

The US Department of State published a statement “rejecting” recent statements from Israeli Ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir advocating for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza.

“This rhetoric is inflammatory and irresponsible. We have been told repeatedly and consistently by the Government of Israel, including by the Prime Minister, that such statements do not reflect the policy of the Israeli government. They should stop immediately. We have been clear, consistent, and unequivocal that Gaza is Palestinian land and will remain Palestinian land, with Hamas no longer in control of its future and with no terror groups able to threaten Israel. That is the future we seek”, the statement said.

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June 2024