Israel behind Beirut strike that killed Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri: Pentagon

The Pentagon said Wednesday Israel carried out the strike in Beirut on Tuesday that killed a senior Hamas official and several other members of Palestinian factions.

“The strike was an Israeli strike. Please refer all questions to IDF,” a US defense official said. The comment comes less than 24 hours after Israeli officials refused to claim the attack.

An Israeli drone strike killed Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri, the deputy leader of the group’s political bureau, in the Hezbollah stronghold of Beirut’s southern suburbs.

No one has claimed responsibility for the explosion. But an Israeli lawmaker and its former ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, congratulated the Mossad, Shin Bet and Israeli army for the operation. “Anyone who was involved in the 7/10 massacre should know that we will reach out to them and close an account with them,” he said in a post in Hebrew on X.

And an advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the strike was not an attack on Lebanon or Iran-backed Hezbollah.

“Israel has not taken responsibility… Whoever did this did a surgical strike against Hamas leadership,” Mark Regev said in a televised interview with MSNBC shortly after the incident. Asked if the attack inside Beirut could draw a Hezbollah response, Regev again said the strike was a surgical one “because whoever did this has a gripe with Hamas… it’s not an attack on the Lebanese state, it’s not an attack on the Hezbollah terrorist organization.”

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