GAZA, Palestine (AA) – Israel wants “to export its crisis abroad” through the assassination of Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri, a senior leader of the Palestinian resistance group has said.
“This criminal, arrogant Zionist enemy, despite its failures and disappointments after three months of its barbaric aggression on Gaza, wants to annihilate the people of Gaza. In light of its failure and its doubled losses of soldiers killed, it wants to export the crisis abroad. It wants to expand the circle of aggression, thinking that this would confuse the calculations of the resistance and the calculations of the region. It thought that assassinations of leaders would break the will of the resistance and weaken the leadership, not knowing that this is a big delusion,” Khaled Mashal, the former head of Hamas’s political bureau and current leader of its diaspora office, said in a statement.
Al-Arouri was killed in an Israeli drone strike on a Hamas office in the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday evening.
He is the highest-ranking Hamas leader to have been killed by Israel since the launch of the war on the Gaza Strip on October 7.
Israel has not officially claimed responsibility for Al-Arouri’s death.
Hamas and the Lebanese Hezbollah group have vowed to avenge his assassination.
Israel launched relentless air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since October 7.
At least 22,438 Palestinians have since been killed and 57,614 others injured, according to Gaza’s health authorities.
The onslaught has left Gaza in ruins, with 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure damaged or destroyed and nearly 2 million residents displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine.