Saleh al-Arouri’s assassination has triggered war rhetoric from Lebanon’s Hezbollah, who are “unafraid” of combat with Israel.
Palestine’s occupied West Bank observed a general strike on Wednesday following Israel’s targeted drone strike of Hamas’ office in southern Beirut.
Wednesday’s blast killed at least seven people, including the former deputy chief of Hamas’s politburo and a founder of the group’s armed wing, the Al Qassam Brigades, Saleh al-Arouri.
Middle East Eye reported on Wednesday that the general strike saw the halting of all business and trade, including the closing of shops, banks, commercial facilities and public institutions.
Public transportation activity was also reported as being disrupted.
Ramallah in mourning
According to Al Jazeera, Wednesday’s strike action was initiated by Palestinian armed groups in protest of the seven men slain by an Israeli drone.
In a televised speech on Tuesday, senior Hamas political leader, Ismail Haniyeh, identified the other six men who were killed as Samir Findi and Azzam Al Aqraa, who were commanders in the Qassam Brigades.
He also said Hamas members Mahmoud Zaki Shahin, Mohammad Bashasha, Mohammad Al Rayes and Mohammad Hamoud died in the blast.
Palestinians in the occupied West Bank were asked to either remain at home or take to the streets to join demonstration marches.
These demonstrations were especially important for the people of Ramallah, where al-Arouri hailed from.
His family home in Ramallah received a stream of condolence callers, as many visitors went to pay their respects.
Speaking to Al Jazeera, al-Arouri’s sister, Dalal Muhammad Suleiman, said she took comfort in knowing her brother was someone who “devoted himself to the struggle”.
Remembering her brother as a youngster, Suleiman said, “Even in his early school years, he avidly followed the news, had a keen interest in politics and his cultural pursuits were reflected in his office.”
In the wake of al-Arouri’s assassination, the general secretary of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, condoled Hamas for the death of al-Aroruri caused by “flagrant Israeli aggression”.
According to Nasrallah, Hezbollah is unafraid of engaging in all-out war with the occupying force.
“If the enemy thinks about waging war against Lebanon, then our fighting will be with no ceiling, with no limits, with no rules. And they know what I mean,” Nasrallah said during a speech, according to a Thursday Al Jazeera report.
“We are not afraid of war. We don’t fear it. We are not hesitant,” he added.
Nasrallah’s war rhetoric comes as Hezbollah’s ally, Iran accuses Israel of being responsible for the deadly twin terrorist attacks on Wednesday, near the Golzar Shohada cemetery, the final resting place of Qassem Suleimani.
Suleimani was the head of Iran’s al-Quds force.
Mojtaba Zonnour, the deputy speaker of the Iranian parliament, attributed the attack to Israel.
“The non-suicidal nature of the terrorist attack in Kerman shows that it is an act of the Zionist regime. We will punish the Zionist regime with a revenge that will have global operational value,” he said, according to the Guardian.
Wednesday’s blast in Iran, which killed almost 100 people, coincided with a remembrance ceremony to commemorate the life of Suleimani, who was assassinated in 2020 by America.
During a phone call following Wednesday’s incident, Qatar’s Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, told Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, that “this criminal act, perpetrated by those seeking to destabilize Iran, has failed to achieve its expected results”.
Sheikh Tamim further stressed the necessity of cooperation between Qatar, Iran and other Islamic countries to put a halt to Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip, Islamic Republic News Agency reported.