February 20, 2024

Jerusalem: The Israeli military has stated it’s “ready for any state of affairs” after a strike in Beirut that killed Hamas’s deputy chief, stoking fears the struggle within the Gaza Strip might boil over into wider regional battle.
A high-level safety official in Lebanon instructed AFP that Saleh Al-Aruri was killed alongside along with his bodyguards in a strike by Israel, which has vowed to destroy Hamas after the motion’s shock October 7 assaults.
A second safety official confirmed the knowledge, whereas Hamas TV additionally reported Israel had killed Aruri in Lebanon.
Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari didn’t immediately touch upon the killing, however stated afterwards that the navy was in “very excessive state of readiness in all arenas, in protection and offense. We’re extremely ready for any state of affairs.”
Israel has beforehand introduced the deaths in Gaza of Hamas commanders and officers through the struggle, however Aruri is essentially the most high-profile determine to be killed, and his loss of life got here within the first strike on the Lebanese capital since hostilities started.
The strike provides to widespread fears that the almost three-month-old Israel-Hamas struggle might change into a wider regional conflagration.
Hamas stated Aruri’s loss of life wouldn’t result in its defeat, whereas its Lebanon-based ally Hezbollah vowed the killing wouldn’t go unpunished, calling it “a critical assault on Lebanon… and a harmful growth.”
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemned the killing and stated it “goals to attract Lebanon” additional into the struggle.
Aruri, who lived in exile, is accused by Israel of masterminding quite a few assaults.
Following his loss of life, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh stated {that a} motion “whose leaders fall as martyrs for the dignity of our folks and our nation won’t ever be defeated.”
Hamas’s bloody October 7 assault on Israel resulted within the deaths of round 1,140 folks, most of them civilians, in line with an AFP tally based mostly on official Israeli figures.
Militants additionally took round 250 hostages again to Hamas-ruled Gaza, of whom 129 stay in captivity, in line with Israeli figures.
After the assault, the worst in its historical past, Israel started a relentless bombardment and floor offensive that has killed not less than 22,185 folks, principally girls and youngsters, in line with Gaza’s well being ministry.
Israel’s military stated troopers in Gaza had killed “dozens of terrorists” in preventing on Tuesday, and had additionally raided a weapons storage compound within the southern metropolis of Khan Yunis.
Within the aftermath of a strike on the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, Palestinians rushed to rescue victims and retrieve our bodies from the rubble.
“There are about 12 martyrs till now, principally youngsters. What was their fault? Amongst them my one-month-old son, what did he do to Israel?” requested Ghazi Darwish. “My different son is 5 years previous, he was additionally martyred.”
Additional south in Khan Yunis, the Palestine Crimson Crescent Society stated Israel had twice struck its headquarters, leading to “5 casualties and three accidents” amongst displaced individuals who had sought refuge there and at a close-by hospital.
“They instructed us to go to the south, which is protected, however they’re liars,” shouted Fathi Al-Af, pointing to his wounded daughter on a stretcher on the ground of Nasser Hospital after the Crimson Crescent strike.
The pinnacle of the World Well being Group (WHO) denounced the alleged strikes as “unconscionable.”
The strikes in Khan Yunis continued in a single day into Wednesday morning, with the Hamas well being ministry reporting “quite a few” deaths.
United Nations businesses have voiced alarm over Gaza’s spiralling humanitarian disaster, which has left 2.4 million folks beneath siege, most of them displaced and crowded into shelters and tents throughout winter rains.
“Hamas individuals are hiding of their homes and the tunnels, whereas we don’t discover meals or drink and are dying of chilly,” stated Wojud Kamal Al-Shinbary, who like many Gazans had made her approach to Rafah, within the far south.
The WHO has warned of the danger of famine and illness, with solely a minimal quantity of support coming into.
On Tuesday the UK stated a British ship had delivered 87 tons of Gaza support to Egypt from Cyprus, the primary cargo by way of a brand new maritime hall from the Mediterranean island.

Within the occupied West Financial institution, the place the official Palestinian information company Wafa reported a number of Israeli operations in a single day, AFPTV pictures confirmed scores of individuals within the streets of Ramallah to protest at Aruri’s killing.
Palestinian prime minister Mohammad Shtayyeh additionally condemned the killing, and warned concerning the “dangers and penalties that might observe,” his workplace stated.
Israeli strikes in neighboring international locations on teams appearing in assist of Hamas have fanned fears of a wider battle.
In a name with Israeli struggle cupboard member Benny Gantz after Aruri’s killing, French President Emmanuel Macron urged Israel to “keep away from any escalatory angle, significantly in Lebanon.”
A strike inside Syria final month that was blamed on Israel killed a senior commander of the international operations arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels, in the meantime, have additionally launched assaults at Israel and towards cargo ships within the Crimson Sea in solidarity with Hamas, with the US navy assembling a multinational job drive to guard the important delivery lane.
The Houthis fired two missiles late Tuesday towards service provider ships touring within the Crimson Sea close to the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the US navy stated, although no ships within the space reported harm.
The French mission to the UN stated the Safety Council — of which France and the US are everlasting members — would talk about the Houthi assaults in a gathering on Wednesday.
burs-smw/mtp