“I am waiting for martyrdom and think that I lived too long,” said Hamas’ Sheikh Saleh Al-Arouri, who was martyred in a flagrant Israeli strike on Beirut’s southern suburb, Dahiyeh, on Tuesday.
The remarks were announced by the deputy chairman of Hamas’ politburo last august, when the Israeli occupation threatened to assassinate him.
The killing of Al-Arouri comes at a defining moment for the nearly three-month Israeli war on Gaza, as the Zionist entity is looking for recording a military achievement in the battlefield against Hamas and other resistance movements in the war-torn strip.
Al-Arouri was seen as a key player in the Palestinian resistance group, masterminding its operations in the West Bank — where he was the top commander of Al-Qasam there— from exile after long stints in Israeli prisons.
In 2015, the US Treasury Department designated Arouri as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist, offering $5 million for information about him.
Early Life, Resistance Activities
The senior Hamas leader was born on 19 August 1966 in Al-Aroura town near Ramallah in the West Bank. In 1985, he enrolled at Al-Khalil (Hebron) University to study Sharia law. He was elected head of the Islamic faction at the university, where he established ties to resistance youths.
He joined the ranks of Hamas resistance group in 1987. He was arrested repeatedly between 1990 and 1992 over his role within Hamas.
Al-Arouri had a key role in founding Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. He spent 15 years in Israeli prisons and was released in 2007.
Three months later in 2007, Al-Arouri was arrested again by the Israeli occupation and released in March 2010 when he was deported to several countries including Qatar, Turkey and Indonesia.
He had a decisive role in the negotiations which led to the swap deal that saw the freedom of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit who was captured by Hamas in 2006.
Lebanon and Assassination Threat
In 2015, Al-Arouri moved to Lebanon, where he remotely orchestrated Hamas’ operations in the West Bank.
Later in 2017, he was elected as the deputy chairman of the movement’s politburo.
In August 2023, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued an explicit threat to assassinate Al-Arouri, prompting Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Narsallah to clearly warn that any assassination on the Lebanese territory won’t go unanswered.
The Israeli occupation, on January 2, staged drone strike that killed Al-Arouri along with six of his companions in Beirut’s Dahiyeh.
Following the heroic Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, Al-Arouri had brave positions which he announced in several occasions throughout the weeks-long war. In an interview with Al-Manar earlier on October 25, Al-Arouri was confident of the resistance’s victory.
“The enemy enjoys military capabilities that surpass ours. However, and despite the unwavering Western backing to the Zionist entity, we represent the rightful face of this battle and we will triumph,” he told Al-Manar in a phone call.
Source: Al-Manar English Website