Who Was Hamas’ Saleh Al-Arouri?


One of Hamas’ most senior officials was killed on Tuesday night when an Israeli drone reportedly targeted the militant group’s offices in the Hezbollah-controlled southern suburbs of Beirut.

Saleh Al-Arouri, deputy head of Hamas’ political bureau, was a prominent name on Israel’s hit list and the highest-ranking member of the group to have been killed so far.

As well as being deputy to Ismail Haniyeh since 2017, Al-Arouri was a founding commander of Hamas’ military wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.

He was also on the US Treasury’s sanctions list for allegedly being a financier for the group and facilitating weapon transfers since 1987 when Hamas was formed during the first Palestinian uprising against Israel.

The US Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

Al-Arouri’s death came a day before Iran commemorates the anniversary of losing its top general, Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a US drone strike near Baghdad International Airport on Jan. 3, 2020.

Al-Arouri had been a member of Hamas’ Politburo since 2010 but rose to prominence in August 2014 when he told a conference in Turkiye that the militant group was responsible for the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers from a West Bank settlement.

Israel and the US also believe he was involved in the funding and training of the Hamas fighters who carried out the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, which saw 1,200 people killed and 240 taken hostage.

Israel responded by launching a military campaign against the Gaza Strip, which has so far seen the deaths of at least 22,000 Palestinians.

In October, Al-Arouri’s family home in the West Bank town of Aroura, near Ramallah, was demolished by the Israeli army. The demolition order was signed by Yehuda Fox, head of the Israel Defense Force Central Command.

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *