All posts tagged: significant role

Was Saleh al-Arouri Special, or Is Israel Just Getting Started?

Was Saleh al-Arouri Special, or Is Israel Just Getting Started?

Israel’s assassination of the Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri by drone strike in Beirut on January 2 suggests that the Israel-Hamas war could still easily spill over into a regional conflict or launch a string of assassinations that drag in third-party states. What happens next will depend in part on just how unique a figure al-Arouri really was in the estimation of his Israeli adversaries, and on whether his death will prove to be an inflection point between Israel and Hezbollah. Most of the Hamas political leaders in exile are based in the Qatari capital of Doha, where they have essentially become the organization’s diplomatic wing—useful for appearing on television or arranging financial and other forms of support. Al-Arouri, by contrast, played a significant role with Hamas’s paramilitary wing, the Qassam Brigades, which he helped found. He was a vital liaison between the movement’s external political leadership and its paramilitary leaders in Gaza, including Yahya Sinwar. Toggling between Turkey and Lebanon, he was also Hamas’s point man with its most important allies: Hezbollah in Lebanon, Iran’s …