An explosion occurred in southern Beirut this evening. According to Lebanese official media, the matter is related to an Israeli attack on an office of the Hamas movement. Four people are said to have died. The attack may have been carried out with a drone, or a car may have exploded, the Qatari Al Jazeera news channel reported. There has been no response from Israel yet.
According to intelligence sources from Reuters news agency, the attack will target Hamas leader Saleh Al-Arouri, who was killed in the attack, which Hamas itself has now confirmed. Al-Arouri is one of the founders of the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas movement. From Lebanon, he will direct Hamas forces in the West Bank.
In addition, he is deputy head of the Hamas political bureau, making him the second-in-command of the armed movement's political wing, behind Ismail Haniyeh.
Many Palestinians live in refugee camps in Lebanon. They also include Hamas leaders and militants. These refugee camps are mainly located in southern Beirut, where the explosion occurred.
Israel has also attacked targets in Lebanon since the outbreak of the war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. This included targets of the Hezbollah armed movement in the south of the country near the border with Israel. Hezbollah fires missiles from there at northern Israel.
An attack in Beirut to the north would mean an escalation of the fighting between Israel and Lebanon. In recent weeks, Israel has hinted at opening a second front in Lebanon, although the Beirut explosion appears to be limited in scope at the present time.
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