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Hamas leader vows unyielding strength following loss of key figure

1 min

In a significant blow to the Hamas movement, Ismaïl Haniyeh, the chief of Hamas, asserted on Tuesday that his organization "will never be defeated" in the wake of the death of its deputy leader, Saleh al-Arouri, in a strike in the southern suburbs of Beirut attributed to Israel.

Palestinians take part in a protest against the killing of senior Hamas official, Saleh al-Arouri, in Hebron in the West Bank January 2, 2024. Reuters/Mussa Qawasma

In a significant blow to the Hamas movement, Ismaïl Haniyeh, the chief of Hamas, asserted on Tuesday that his organization "will never be defeated" in the wake of the death of its deputy leader, Saleh al-Arouri, in a strike in the southern suburbs of Beirut attributed to Israel.

"A movement whose leaders and founders lay down their lives as martyrs for the dignity of our people and our nation will never be defeated," declared Mr. Haniyeh in a televised address. "This is the story of resilience and determination, a movement that grows even stronger and more resolute after the assassination of its leaders," he added.

"The assassination by the Zionist occupation of the great national leader and courageous fighter Saleh al-Arouri, along with his comrades among the leaders and members of the movement on Lebanese soil, is a clear act of terrorism, a violation of Lebanon's sovereignty, and an extension of its aggression against our people and our nation," he emphasized.

Mr. Haniyeh further revealed that two leaders of Hamas's military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, were killed in the strike—Samir Fendi and Azzam al-Aqraa—along with four other movement officials: Mahmoud Zaki Chahine, Mohammad Bashasha, Mohammad al-Raïs, and Ahmad Hammoud.

Iranian news agency Mehr reported that Abu Amar, Hamas’ Lebanon operations director, was among those killed in a strike.

The loss of Saleh al-Arouri, a prominent figure within Hamas, marks a challenging time for the movement, which has faced a series of setbacks in recent years.

However, Mr. Haniyeh's defiant words underscore Hamas's determination to persevere in the face of adversity.

The situation in the Middle East remains highly complex, with ongoing conflicts and regional tensions adding to the challenges faced by Hamas and other entities in the region.

The coming days will likely provide more insights into the implications of this significant event and its impact on the broader regional dynamics.

By Bruno Finel 

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