Figure close to Hamas survives Israeli strike in Lebanon, 3 others killed

The strike targeting Saleh Al Arouri was much deeper into Lebanese territory than the usual exchanges of fire

By Reuters

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Lebanese army soldiers secure the area around a car wrecked in a reported Israeli drone strike in the village of Jadra between Beirut and the southern city of Sidon. — AFP
Lebanese army soldiers secure the area around a car wrecked in a reported Israeli drone strike in the village of Jadra between Beirut and the southern city of Sidon. — AFP

Published: Sat 10 Feb 2024, 7:00 PM

An Israeli strike about 60km inside Lebanon's southern border on Saturday targeted a Palestinian figure close to Hamas but he survived, four security sources said.

Three other people were killed, including one member of the powerful, Iran-backed Lebanese armed group Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, the security sources also told Reuters.

One source said the person targeted was close to Saleh Al Arouri, the Hamas deputy chief killed last month in a suspected Israeli strike on a suburb of Beirut.

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Saturday's strike was much deeper into Lebanese territory than the usual exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israel's military, which have been mostly limited to the border region.

There was no immediate comment from Hamas in Lebanon or from the Israeli military.

Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging near-daily fire since October 7. On Saturday, Hezbollah said it had seized an Israeli Skylark drone over Lebanese air space "in good condition".

The Skylark is a small, unmanned aerial vehicle typically used for surveillance and produced by Israel-based weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems.

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Lebanese officials and Western diplomats have said Hezbollah has signalled its openness to US diplomatic efforts to secure calm on the border with Israel once a ceasefire is in place in Gaza.

Hamas this week proposed a ceasefire of 4-1/2 months, during which remaining hostages would go free, Israel would withdraw its troops and agreement would be reached on an end to the war.

Netanyahu said Hamas' terms, offered in response to a proposal drawn up by US and Israeli spy chiefs with Qatar and Egypt, were "delusional" and vowed to fight on.


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