Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah issued a stern warning to Israel in the wake of an Israeli strike that resulted in the death of Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut’s southern suburbs. Nasrallah’s address, delivered via a televised speech, emphasized Hezbollah’s readiness to engage in conflict if necessary.
The Israeli drone attack targeted a Hamas office in Beirut, leading to the death of six people, including Saleh al-Arouri, a prominent figure and founding member of Hamas’s armed wing. Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari, while not directly addressing Arouri’s death, stated the military’s high preparedness for potential repercussions. This incident has heightened concerns of a larger conflict, as it marks the most significant casualty since the onset of fighting in Gaza in October.
Hezbollah’s Response and Regional Tensions
In his speech, Nasrallah labelled the attack a “major and dangerous crime” and vowed it would not remain “unanswered and unpunished”. He announced several strikes against Israeli troops, staying within the usual scope of the border area. Additionally, Nasrallah claimed that Hamas’s attacks had weakened Israel and was on a path to decline.
The speech also commemorated the death of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp general Qasem Soleimani, killed in a US strike four years prior. Nasrallah is expected to address the public again on Friday.
In response to these developments, a high-level Lebanese security official confirmed that Israel used guided missiles from a warplane in the Beirut suburb strike. Arouri’s burial is planned in Beirut’s Shatila Palestinian refugee camp.
Casualty reports indicate that since the hostilities began, approximately 170 people have been killed on the Lebanese side, including Hezbollah members and civilians. On the Israeli side, at least nine soldiers have been reported killed.