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News > Palestine

Hamas Freezes Talks With Israel After Al-Arouri Murder

  • Protests in the West Bank after Saleh Al-Arouri’s killing, January 3, 2024.

    Protests in the West Bank after Saleh Al-Arouri’s killing, January 3, 2024. | Photo: X/ @CliffordHacket4

Published 3 January 2024

Iran condemned the assassination Saleh Al-Arouri and two Al-Qassam Brigades commanders.

Hamas announced a freeze on ceasefire negotiations with Israel after the faction's deputy chief, Saleh al-Arouri, was killed on Tuesday evening in an Israeli attack in Lebanon.


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"We have informed the brothers in Qatar and Egypt of the freezing of negotiations," the source said on condition of anonymity. So far, Qatar and Egypt have been mediating a ceasefire.

Hamas rejected any talks about reaching a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip amid escalated Israeli aggression and "assassination schemes" against Palestinian leaders.

Several aides of Al-Arouri, deputy head of the Hamas politburo, were also killed in the Israeli attack targeting a Hamas office in the southern suburb of the Lebanese capital of Beirut.

The text reads, "We are feeding Israeli captives with our own food, living with them in their places, while Palestinian prisoners have been living in conditions similar to those in Nazi concentration camps. Interview with Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri."

Hamas confirmed that seven of its members were slain in the Israeli attack, slamming it as a "barbaric and heinous" terrorist act, a violation of Lebanon's sovereignty, and an expansion of Israeli aggression against Palestine and its people.

Lebanese armed group Hezbollah said the attack was a serious assault on the Lebanese people, security, and sovereignty.

"This crime will never pass without response and punishment," it said, warning that the attack signaled "a dangerous development" in the current Israel-Hamas conflict.

On Tuesday, Iran condemned Israel's "despicable" move of assassinating Al-Arouri, as well as two commanders of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the Hamas armed wing, in the drone strike in Beirut.

In recent weeks, Israeli officials threatened to assassinate Hamas leaders in Palestinian territories and beyond, particularly Al-Arouri, who was accused by Israel of directly being responsible for the "Al-Aqsa Storm" attack on southern Israel on Oct. 7.

Al-Arouri, 57, was a founder of the al-Qassam Brigades and its cells in the West Bank. He was imprisoned in Israel for over 18 years and was deported by Israeli authorities from Palestinian territories upon his last release in 2010. In the same year, he was elected as a Hamas politburo member. Al-Arouri became the No. 2 in the top Hamas leadership body in 2017. 

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