Assassination Sparks Fear of Large-Scale Warfare

Assassination Sparks Fear of Large-Scale Warfare

( – Israel has been at war with Hamas since October 7. The conflict has spread from the Gaza Strip to Lebanon. Now, a top leader of the terrorist organization has been killed.

On January 2, Hamas senior leader Saleh al-Arouri was killed by an Israeli drone attack in Beirut. Six other members of the terrorist group also died in the bombing. According to reports, al-Arouri was one of the group’s most important figures. He’s credited with integrating Hamas into the network of Iranian-backed militias more tightly. He also helped move operatives and weapons into the Gaza Strip and other places in the Middle East.

Emile Hokayem, the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ regional security director, told The New York Times that Hamas will suffer because of al-Arouri’s loss. He explained that the terrorist was one of the group’s “key strategists” and was good at “managing high-level political relationships” while also having “credibility as a commander.”

When the war began, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that his country would target “Hamas leaders wherever they are.” He made good on that promise when Israel took out al-Arouri.

There are now concerns that the conflict could spread across the Middle East as a result of al-Arouri’s death. Lebanon’s Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah previously warned that targeted attacks carried out on Lebanese soil would result in a “powerful response.” In the wake of the attack, Hezbollah’s leader said the group would retaliate, saying the “dangerous crime [would] not stay without a response and punishment.”

Nasrallah went on to say that anyone considering a war with Lebanon would “regret it” because it would be “very, very, very costly.”

Israel has not taken credit for the assassination, but that’s typical for the country. Netanyahu’s forces are currently fighting Hamas in a ground war in the Gaza Strip. The war has displaced millions and killed thousands of people.

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