Top Hamas Official Killed, US Silent

( – Hamas’ trademark resiliency will be put to the test after one of its key leaders, Saleh Arouri, was killed recently by an Israeli strike in Beirut in Lebanon.

U.S. intelligence or military have not confirmed the kill, but Hasan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanese Islamist militant group Hezbollah, vowed to retaliate against Israel for the killing, which he called a “dangerous crime.” He warned the Jewish state – which is still deep in its offensive against Hamas militants in the Gaza strip – that there would be “response and punishment” for Arouri’s death.

“There is a battlefield, and [many] days and nights,” Nasrallah warned.

Lebanon lies north of Israel, and while there have been some skirmishes between Hezbollah forces and the Israel Defense Force – largely because Hezbollah supports Hamas – the recent bombing in Beirut might prompt the escalation of hostilities between the two countries.

For its part, the U.S. has remained largely mum on the Arouri’s death, despite the fact that he was listed on America’s Rewards for Justice program for a long time – which is essentially a wanted list for known terrorists – and carried a $5 million bounty on his head.

Matthew Miller, the spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said that the U.S.’ concern at the moment is to “contain a multi-front conflict.”

While Miller acknowledged Arouri as a “a brutal terrorist with civilian blood on his hands,” he stopped short of commenting any further on Israel’s decision to conduct the strike despite Arouri being on Lebanese soil. Arouri is the highest-ranking Hamas official to be killed since the Palestinian Islamist militia carried out its devastating October 7, 2023 attacks against Israel, which resulted in the death of more than 1,200 individuals, most of whom were civilians that also included women and children.

John Kirby, the White House’s National Security Council spokesperson, said that “nobody should be shedding a tear” over the killing of Arouri, but said that they still have yet to confirm the kill. He also made it clear that the strike was carried out without any cooperation or consultation with the U.S.

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