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Who is Saleh al-Arouri, top Hamas official killed in Beirut?

Saleh al-Arouri played a large political and military role in Hamas, and his death may elicit a strong response from Hezbollah.
Senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, attends by video conference a meeting with deputy Hamas chief Saleh Arouri (on screen from Beirut) discussing Israel's plan to annex parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on July 2, 2020. (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI / AFP) (Photo by ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images)

Senior Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri was killed in an explosion in the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday. As Hamas has accused Israel of the bombing, the event could portend a potentially major escalation in the Israel-Hamas war.

Arouri was killed in south Beirut’s Dahiyeh neighborhood along with several other people, according to multiple reports. Hamas confirmed his death and accused Israel of being responsible for the assassination. Israel did not immediately comment, in keeping with its policy of not discussing military operations abroad.

Who is Arouri?

Arouri was one of Hamas’ main leaders. Born in 1966 in Aroura, near Ramallah on the West Bank, he joined Hamas in 1987 and had been deputy leader of Hamas’ political bureau and leader of its West Bank political bureau at the time of his death.

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