UN labels strike killing senior Hamas official in Beirut as ‘extremely worrying’

The United Nations described the Israeli strike that killed a senior Hamas leader in Beirut on Tuesday as “extremely worrying.”

Saleh al-Arouri, Deputy Hamas Chief, died in an Israeli drone strike in Beirut’s southern suburb of Dahiyeh, a Hezbollah stronghold, according to three security sources who spoke to Reuters.

The Israeli military, when asked by Reuters, said it does not comment on foreign media reports.

United Nations Associate Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Florencia Soto Nino, speaking in New York, expressed concern about the incident’s potential to escalate regional conflict. “The developments are extremely worrying, highlighting the dangers of the conflict spilling over into the wider region,” she said.

Lebanon’s national news agency reported six deaths from the drone strike on a Hamas office. Two security sources claimed the strike targeted a meeting, including another Palestinian militant commander. However, details on the other four casualties remain unclear.

Arouri was the deputy head of Hamas’s politburo and a founder of its military wing, the Qassam Brigades. The group conducted a deadly assault in Israeli territory on Oct. 7.