The deadly attack on a Hamas leader in Beirut has raised fears of a wider regional conflict. you should know this
Israel launched a deadly strike in Lebanon on Tuesday that killed Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri, a US official told CNN.
The Biden administration was not informed in advance about the operation, the official said.
Arouri, the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, was “martyred in a treacherous Zionist airstrike in Beirut,” Hamas media outlet Al Aqsa TV announced.
If confirmed, Arouri would be the highest-ranking Hamas official killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of the war, which began with Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7.
Israel did not claim responsibility for the attack in Beirut, which was condemned by Hamas’ regional allies, raising fears of escalating fighting in the Middle East.
French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday urged Israel to avoid escalating tensions “especially in Lebanon,” according to a statement from the French presidential office.
Here’s what you need to know:
increasing number: At least 22,185 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, as Israeli Defense Forces intensified their military campaign in the central part of the territory. CNN cannot independently confirm figures provided by the Ministry of Health in Gaza due to restricted access to the area and the difficulty in confirming accurate figures amid the ongoing war.
Military Activities: On a visit to Gaza, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant said Israel’s military operation in the Strip would continue for some time, but changes would be made after assessing the situation. He said, “The feeling that we will stop soon is wrong: without a clear victory, we will not be able to survive in the Middle East.”
Reprimand for rehabilitation: A far-right Israeli official said the country is “not another star on the US flag” after Washington described his call for resettlement outside Gaza as “provocative and irresponsible”. National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir previously said that Israel’s war against Hamas presents an “opportunity to focus on encouraging the emigration of Gaza residents”. State Department spokesman Matt Miller said that Israel had informed the United States that “such statements do not reflect Israeli government policy.”
Judicial Process: An Israeli government spokesman has said that Israel will appear before the International Court of Justice to answer to South Africa’s accusation that it is committing genocide in its war against Hamas. Ilon Levy said Israel would attend The Hague “to address South Africa’s absurd blood libel”.
Visiting US Senators: A bipartisan group of US senators was due to travel to the Middle East on Tuesday night to meet with senior Israeli officials and discuss the war between Israel and Hamas. Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are also expected to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Arab leaders during the trip, according to Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
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