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Israel commits war crime by assassinating senior Hamas figure: Palestinian official

January 3, 2024 at 4:39 pm

Deputy Chairman of the Movement’s Political Bureau Saleh Al-Arouri [Ahmed Gamil/Anadolu Agency]

The assassination carried out by Israel against a senior Hamas figure with an uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) in the Lebanese capital, Beirut, means a violation of international law and Lebanon’s sovereignty, according to a Palestinian journalist and author.

The Editor of The Palestine Chronicle, Palestinian journalist-author, Ramzy Baroud, told Anadolu that Israel’s attack on civilian areas in Lebanon was a serious violation of international law, referring to the assassination of the deputy head of Hamas’ Political Bureau, Saleh Al-Arouri.

“For now, we know that six more people were killed along with Arouri,” he said. “In this attack, a UAV that fired three missiles targeted a residential area and damaged the building where Arouri held his meetings along with other structures.”

Mentioning that Israel hit one of the busiest streets of the Lebanese capital, he criticised:

They hit a sovereign country

The Palestinian journalist further underlined: “There is a list of war crimes in this assassination.”

READ: Who else was killed by Israel alongside Al-Arouri in Beirut?

“Now, Israel is under the impression, or perhaps wants to believe that it’s going to be business as usual,” he added.

Reminding that the Tel Aviv administration had not faced any sanctions in the past, despite assassinating various people in Syria, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East, Baroud indicated that “the rules of the games have changed,” and this assassination will not go unanswered like the previous ones.

Expanding conflict area

Separately, Baroud pointed out that Arouri’s assassination was also an attack on Lebanon’s sovereignty: “Mark Regev, one of the advisors to the Israeli Prime Minister, declared that this attack was carried out against Hamas, not Lebanese sovereignty.”

“Imagine someone, God forbid, come and blow up a house in Istanbul and say this is not an attack on the sovereignty of Turkiye,” he expressed, describing it as “a ridiculous statement” that “doesn’t make sense.”

Recalling that Israel had previously said that it would carry out assassinations in Lebanon, Turkiye and Qatar, the journalist underscored that a common and harsh reaction is needed to prevent these.

Baroud stated that Arouri’s assassination was Israel’s attempt to expand the conflict and that if a “firm and collected answer” is not given, the Israeli Foreign Intelligence Service Mossad’s attempts to destroy resistance leaders in different countries will continue.

“Netanyahu knows that his government will collapse and that his political career will end immediately when the defeat in Gaza becomes final. So he is trying to basically mess up the courts,” he claimed.

The thing is that

response would have to be strategic as in not playing in the hands of Netanyahu and allowing him to drag this into another type of political game to be played in various Arab and Muslim and Middle Eastern capitals

he suggested.

‘Ineffective’ international law

Regarding Netanyahu’s attempt to move the conflict to Beirut instead of retreating from Gaza to Tel Aviv, he said that it “is a sign of despair but also a major gamble”.

VIEW: Hamas official Saleh Al-Arouri’s sister says ‘his blood will be a victory for Palestine’

Baroud stated that after 7 October, Netanyahu gave the green light to assassinate any Palestinian leader anywhere in the world who might pose a threat to Israeli security.

He further noted that although it is very possible that Hezbollah will respond to this attack, the real answer will be given by the Palestinian Resistance. “There definitely will be a major and resounding response to this assassination.”

“We know that international law has been very little relevance to the conflict for the last 75 years; there are numerous UN resolutions, working with the Security Council or the General Assembly, condemning Israel,” he decried.

“International law has proven to be ineffective when it comes to Gaza,” he criticised. “I really think it’s just a political rhetoric. I think it’s a protocol. They have to go through the process. They have to register that, from a legal point of view, from a political point of view.”

“I think it’s a protocol. They have to go through this process. They have to do it from a legal perspective, from a political perspective,” he touched on, adding: “They have to register that, but I think the real reaction to this attack will come from the Resistance itself and the rest is frankly, noise.”

An Israeli drone killed Al-Arouri in Beirut, along with two commanders of the group’s military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, according to Hamas and Lebanese media. Israel has not officially claimed responsibility.

Who is Saleh Al-Arouri?

Hamas Political Bureau Deputy Chief, Saleh Al-Arouri, was born on 19 August, 1966, in Ramallah.

Al-Arouri, who is considered the pioneer of the establishment of the Al-Qassam Brigades, was deported after spending 15 years in Israeli prisons and started living in Lebanon.

He was among the negotiators of the agreement made by Hamas with Israel on 11 October, 2011, to release 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one Israeli soldier.

READ: General strike across West Bank to mourn Hamas’ Arouri

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.