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U.N. experts condemn 'extrajudicial' killing of Hamas figure in Lebanon

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U.N. experts in international law on Tuesday condemned the killing of Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri and other fighters in drone strikes on Lebanon, saying this amounted to the crimes of extrajudicial killings and murder.

Saleh al-Arouri

U.N. experts in international law on Tuesday condemned the killing of Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri and other fighters in drone strikes on Lebanon, saying this amounted to the crimes of extrajudicial killings and murder.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied that it assassinated Arouri but his demise came a month after Israel's domestic security agency Shin Bet vowed to hunt down Hamas in Lebanon, Turkey and Qatar even if took years, following Hamas's cross-border rampage from Gaza into Israel on Oct. 7.

"Killings in foreign territory are arbitrary when they are not authorised under international law," the two U.N. Special Rapporteurs, Ben Saul and Morris Tidball-Binz, said in a statement issued in Geneva.

"Israel was not exercising self-defence because it presented no evidence that the victims were committing an armed attack on Israel from Lebanese territory."

Arouri was killed last week by a drone in Beirut's southern suburbs, the stronghold of Hamas' Iranian-backed Lebanese ally Hezbollah, in an attack widely attributed to Israel.

The U.N. Special Rapporteurs also said there was "no legal basis for geographically unlimited attacks against members of an armed group wherever they are".

Saleh al-Arouri was not a respectable politician but a terrorist leader. In this context, any country can choose the time and place for elimination. Human rights have nothing to do with it.

Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; Editing by Mark Heinrich

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