Top Hamas commander assassinated in Israeli drone attack in Beirut

Top Hamas commander assassinated in Israeli drone attack in Beirut
The strikes in Deir al-Balah comes as Israel renews the focus of it's military campaign in Gaza on central and southern Gaza, withdrawing forces in the north.
13 min read
02 January, 2024

Israel has assassinated Hamas's deputy head in a drone strike on the southern suburbs of the Lebanese capital Beirut late on Tuesday.

Saleh al-Aruri was killed in a "treacherous Zionist strike", Hamas said on its official channel.

A high-level security official said that Aruri was killed in the Israeli strike along with his bodyguards in the Lebanese capital's southern suburbs, which is a stronghold of Hamas ally Hezbollah.

Lebanon's state news agency ANN reported that three were killed and 11 wounded in the drone strike in Beirut, which hit during a meeting at a Hamas office. According to reports, the wounded were evacuated to the hospital.

The killing came as Israel's onslaught on the besieged Gaza Strip has killed at least 22,185 people and injured 57,035, according to figures from Gaza's health authorities.

12:55 AM

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Israel besieges Gaza refugee camp, declares military zone
11:56 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israel besieges the Nur Shams refugee camp in Tukarm, declares it a military zone, restricts movement and imposes curfew, according to Al Jazeera reporter in Tulkarm.

The reporter added that Israeli soldiers and tanks surrounded several hospitals in Tulkarm city.

Ben-Gvir: Israel is not ‘another star on the American flag'
11:39 PM
The New Arab Staff

Far-right Israeli national security minister Ben-Gvir said that Israeli is not ‘another star on the American flag, in response to the US State Department naming him for encouraging the mass displacement of Palestinians from Gaza.

“The United States is our best friend, but first of all we will do what is best for the State of Israel: the migration of hundreds of thousands from Gaza,” Ben-Gvir wrote in a social media post.

Israel says Hezbollah shell kills two soldiers: Al Jazeera
11:28 PM
The New Arab Staff

Al Jazeera quoted the Israeli Broadcasting Authority saying that a shell from South Lebanon killed two soldiers.

Hezbollah said earlier it targeted a unit of Israeli soldiers “with the appropriate weapons”, killing and injuring its members.

The evening attack on the eastern side of the Lebanese-Israeli border was the first by Hezbollah since the killing of al-Arouri in Beirut.

Red Sea ship attack
11:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

UK maritime security company Ambrey reported that a Malta-flagged container ship saw three explosions approximately 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Yemen's al-Makha (Mocha) and radioed for assistance from a coalition warship.

The company believes that the explosions were caused by three missiles launched from Yemen’s Taiz Governorate.

During Israel's military operations in Gaza, Yemen's Houthis have claimed responsibility for targeting commercial ships they allege are associated with Israel.

US slams Israeli ministers' statements
10:56 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The US State Department on Tuesday slammed recent statements from Israeli Ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir that advocated for the resettlement of Palestinians outside of Gaza, calling the rhetoric "inflammatory and irresponsible."

Finance Minister Smotrich, one of the senior figures in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing coalition, called on Sunday for Palestinian residents of Gaza to leave the besieged enclave. National Security Minister Ben-Gvir also said the war in Gaza presented an "opportunity to concentrate on encouraging the migration of the residents 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," the State Department said in a statement, saying such statements 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."


Aruri killing ‘will not pass without punishment': Hezbollah
10:52 PM
The New Arab Staff


Hezbollah says that the assassination will not threaten itd fighters in the “supporting fronts” in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

“We consider the crime of killing Saleh al-Arouri and his companions in the heart of Beirut’s Dahiyeh a dangerous aggression against Lebanon and its people, security, sovereignty and resistance,” Hezbollah said in a statement.

The Lebanese group also said that the assassination was a “dangerous development” in the conflict between Israel and the “axis of the resistance”.

“We, in Hezbollah, emphasise that this crime will not pass without response or punishment, and that our resistance is still on its promise – defiant and loyal to its principles and commitments with its fingers on the trigger, and its fighters are at the highest degree of readiness.”

Lebanon condemns ‘attack on Lebanese sovereignty’
10:22 PM
The New Arab Staff

Lebanon's security chief Abbas Ibrahim said that the assassination 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."

He also raised concerns about the implications of this act on UN Security Council resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 war between Lebanon and Hezbollah and prohibited attacks between the sides, following the assassination.

Jordanians protest assassination of Aruri
9:42 PM
The New Arab Staff

Video footage shared on social media shows Jordanians in Amman protesting against the Israeli strike in Beirut that targeted Hamas commander Saleh al-Aruri, and seven other Hamas members.

Haniyeh identifies the seven Hamas members killed in Beirut
9:08 PM
The New Arab Staff

Seven Hamas members, including Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau; Qassam Brigades commanders Samir Findi and Azzam al-Aqraa; and Hamas members Mahmoud Zaki Shahin, Mohammad Bashasha, Mohammad al-Rayes, and Ahmad Hamoud, were killed in the same Israeli strike on Beirut.

Who is Saleh al-Aruri, assassinated in Beirut?
8:45 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Deputy Hamas leader Saleh al-Aruri had long expected the Israeli drone strike that security sources said killed him in Beirut on Tuesday, three months after his group's surprise cross-border assault on Israel.

"I am waiting for martyrdom and think that I lived too long," he said in August.

Read more here.

Hamas chief: Assassinating al-Aruri is 'terrorist act'
7:55 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said in a brief Tuesday speech that Israel's attacks on Beirut are a violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty and an expansion of Israel's circle of hostility against Palestinians.

"We hold Israel responsible for the ramifications of the assassination," he added, "we will not be deterred or intimated by such actions."

"The targeting of our movement will make our movement stronger and more determined to continue the struggle."

Fatah leaders condemn al-Aruri assassination
7:36 PM
The New Arab Staff

Fatah leaders condemn the assassination of Saleh Al Arouri, and hail him as "an outstanding Palestinian leader," Al Araby TV has reported.

Two Al-Qassam Brigades leaders killed in Beirut
7:24 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Leaders of the Al Qassam Brigades, Samir Findi Abu Amer and Azzam Al-Aqraa Abu Ammar, were killed in an Israeli attack in Dahiyeh, the southern suburbs of Beirut, which also killed Hamas' top commander Saleh al-Aruri, according to a Reuters report citing Al Aqsa TV.

Harvard president to resign over anti-semitism claims
7:09 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The president of Harvard University will resign Tuesday, the prestigious US school's student newspaper reported, after she faced criticism over allegations of plagiarism and anti-semitism.

Claudine Gay was criticised in recent months after reports surfaced alleging that she did not properly cite scholarly sources in her academic work.

Gay was also scrutinised after she allegedly declined to "say unequivocally whether calling for genocide of Jews violated Harvard's code of conduct," during testimony to Congress alongside the heads of MIT and the University of Pennsylvania last month.

Read more here.

Iran: Al-Aruri killing to motivate Israel resistance
6:30 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Iran's state media says Hamas official al-Aruri's assassination will undoubtedly further motivate the resistance to fight against Israel state, Reuters has reported.

Israeli ministers restricted from commenting on al-Aruri
6:06 PM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli news outlet Arutz Sheva said that Israel's cabinet secretary has asked that ministers refrain from commenting to the media on al-Arouri’s assassination in Beirut.

The cabinet secretary's order came after Member of Parliament Danny Danon congratulated Israel’s forces on the assassination.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich wrote on X, “All your enemies will perish, Israel”.

Lebanon PM condemns Israel killing of Hamas deputy leader
5:51 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Lebanon's prime minister condemned Israel's killing of Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Aruri in Beirut's southern suburb on Tuesday, saying the attack "aims to draw Lebanon" further into the Israel-Hamas war.

"Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemned the explosion in the southern suburbs of Beirut that killed and injured many," his office said in a statement.

The attack "aims to draw Lebanon into a new phase of confrontations" with Israel, at a time when Hamas ally Hezbollah has been exchanging daily cross-border fire with Israeli forces in southern Lebanon.

Maersk extends suspension of Red Sea passage
5:35 PM
The New Arab Staff

Shipping giant Maersk said on Tuesday it would not resume passage through a key Red Sea strait "until further notice," after Yemen's Houthis attacked one of its merchant ships.

"We have decided to pause all transits through the Red Sea/Gulf of Aden until further notice," Maersk said in a statement.

"In cases where it makes most sense for our customers, vessels will be rerouted and continue their journey around the Cape of Good Hope," the company added.

Hamas comments on Israel's assassination of commander
5:23 PM
The New Arab Staff

Hamas vowed that that the killing of the group's deputy in Lebanon will not "undermine the continued brave resistance" in Gaza.

"It proves once more the utter failure of the enemy to achieve any of its aggressive goals in the Gaza Strip," senior Hamas official Izzat al-Rishq said in a statement.

Live Story
One Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza fighting
4:13 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli military has announced the death of an Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip as fighting between Israel and Hamas continues. 

The announcement of the death of comes after the military reported that 31 soldiers had been wounded in combat in the past 24 hours, of which 18 of them were in Gaza.

Only 15 percent of Israelis want Netanyahu as PM after Gaza
3:26 PM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

15 percent of Israelis want Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stay in office after the war on Hamas in Gaza ends, though many more still support his strategy in Gaza, according to a poll published on Tuesday.

In the poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI), 56 percent of those questioned said continuing the military offensive was the best way to recover the hostages, while 24 percent thought a swap deal including the release of thousands more Palestinian prisoners from Israel's jails would be best.

15 percent want Netanyahu to be prime minister once the war is over, the poll showed. His political rival and present war cabinet partner, centrist Benny Gantz, garnered support from 23 percent of interviewees. Around 30p percent named no preferred leader.

The poll was conducted among 746 respondents between 25-28 December, with a 95 percent confidence level, the IDI said. A previous IDI poll in December found that 69 percent of Israelis thought that elections should be held as soon as the war ends.

The poll also showed that a 51 percent of Israeli's support the opening of a second front against Hezbollah, which has been clashing with Israel on the border with Lebanon since 8 October.

66 percent of Israeli's said that they believe Israel should not agree to US demands to shift the war into a new phase with a reduced emphasis on heavy bombing in populated areas.

(Reuters and The New Arab Staff)

Forced displacement 'crime against humanity': UN's Albanese
3:16 PM
The New Arab Staff

Francesca Albanese, the UN's Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian Territories stated that Israel's forced displacement of Gazan's is a "crime against humanity".

In a statement on X, formerly Twitter, Albanese accused Israel of "perpetrating that [forced displacement] with impunity during decades of illegal occupation," adding that "it has now taken it to a new level by terrorizing people through bombing, starvation and induced disease".

Israeli airstrike targets headquarters of PRCS, kills five
3:10 PM
The New Arab Staff

An Israeli airstrike struck the headquarters of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) killing five people and wounded three.

According to PRCS those killed were displaced and had been seeking shelter in the building and nearby Al-Amal hospital. 

Warning: Some people might find the video below distressing.

Palestinian MFA condemns reported Israeli executions in Gaza
12:38 PM
The New Arab Staff

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates issued strong remarks against the reported executions of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip by Israeli forces.

In a statement issued on X, the ministry said that "Field executions against Palestinian civilians are the acts of gangs, not a state claiming democracy". 

It added that "Israel must immediately disclose secret concentration camps and provide names and conditions o those detained from the Gaza Strip".

207 Palestinians killed, 338 wounded in 24 hours in Gaza
12:30 PM
The New Arab Staff

In the last 24 hours 207 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, with another 338 people being wounded according to the Palestinian health ministry.

The deaths mean the total number of Palestinians killed in Gaza since 7 October is 22,185, with 57,035 being wounded.

Australian Israeli serving in Israeli army killed in Gaza
12:15 PM
The New Arab Staff

An Australian Israeli serving in the Israeli army was killed fighting in Gaza according to Australia's ABC.

The father of 32-year-old Lior Sivan, who had been serving as a reserves captain in an Israeli armoured brigade, told ABC that Sivan was killed during an ambush. 

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is seeking to confirm the information.

Sivan is believed to be the first Australian killed fighting for the Israeli army in Gaza. Many other people of dual nationality have reportedly been fighting in Gaza, with two British nationals having been confirmed killed in the fighting.

Over 4,000 Palestinian students killed in Gaza
11:07 AM
The New Arab Staff

According to figures released by the Palestinian Ministry of Education, 4,156 students have been killed by Israel's war on Gaza, with at least 381 schools having been bombed or damaged in the fighting.

Israel strikes Syrian military targets following rocket fire
10:54 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Israel carried out a strike against Syrian military targets overnight between Monday and Tuesday in response to earlier rocket launches, the Israeli military said.

The military hit what it described as "military infrastructure of the Syrian army". Late on Monday it said five rockets were launched from Syrian territory. War planes also struck at Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, the military said.


Israel says investigating soldier who killed detained Gazan
10:47 AM
The New Arab Staff & Agencies

The Israeli military said Tuesday it is investigating a soldier suspected of shooting dead a Palestinian who had been captured and detained by troops in the Gaza Strip.

"The terrorist was handed over to the supervision of a soldier, who, under suspicion, allegedly shot him, resulting in his death," the army said of the Sunday incident.

"In light of the preliminary information, a military police investigation has been initiated to examine the circumstances of the shooting," it added in a statement sent to AFP.

International pressure to end Gaza campaign mounting
9:05 AM
The New Arab Staff

International pressure on Israel to end its campaign in Gaza is mounting as South Africa takes Israel to the International Court of Justice over complaints of war crimes, mass displacement, and indiscriminate bombardment, which South Africa says constituted genocide.

Israel has said it will challenge the case in the court, however Haaretz reported that a senior legal expert has warned the Israeli army of the possibility of its action in Gaza being ruled genocide.

As a signatory of the UN Convention on Genocide, Israel is bound by the ruling and would have to cease the its war on the enclave. It comes following repeated initiatives within the UN to attempt to bring about a ceasefire.

Israeli army kills 4 Palestinians in northern West Bank
8:52 AM
The New Arab Staff

Israeli forces have killed four Palestinians near the city of Qalqilya in the occupied northern West Bank.

The Palestinian official news agency Wafa said the four Palestinians were "shot dead during confrontations" that erupted as Israeli forces stormed the town of Azzun.

Witnesses told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that the Israeli army withdrew from the town after clashing with the Palestinians for a few hours.

The Israeli army also raided and searched several homes and shops in the town, witnesses said.
Several Palestinians were also injured and arrested from a building in Azzun.

Israeli army raids several areas in Nablus city
8:42 AM
The New Arab Staff

The Israeli army has raided several neighborhoods in the city of Nablus, in the occupied West Bank, where settler violence has escalated in recent months.

The forces broke into several buildings, searched them and conducted field interrogation with Palestinians. Several buildings remained cordoned off during this time.

Earlier today, the Israeli army killed four Palestinians in the town of Azzun near the northern city of Qalqilya.