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Reuters

Thousands Mourn The Loss Of Saleh al-Aruri

Thousands of mourners gathered in Beirut for the funeral of Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Aruri, who lost his life in a strike in Lebanon attributed to Israel.

People called upon Hamas to avenge al-Aruri’s death, as well as the deaths of five other Hamas members who lost their lives in the same incident on Tuesday. 

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The ceremony began at a mosque, where prayers for the deceased were recited, before proceeding to the Shatila refugee camp.

The coffins of the three prominent Hamas figures, al-Aruri, Azzam al-Aqraa of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas’s military wing), and Mohammad al-Rais, were draped in both Palestinian and Hamas flags. 

A pre-recorded speech by Ismail Haniyeh, the political bureau chief of Hamas, was broadcast during the funeral. 

“The enemy thinks that with the assassination of Saleh al-Aruri, it can defeat the resistance and impose its conditions,” Mr Haniyeh said.

“But it has failed, and it will never be able to force Hamas to abandon its demands, its vision and its strategy,” Mr Haniyeh delivered his speech from his base in Qatar.

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The strike that claimed the lives of al-Aruri and the other Hamas members occurred in a south Beirut stronghold of Hezbollah, an Iran-backed armed group. 

While Hamas and Lebanese security officials accused Israel of launching the attack, Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility.

The funeral procession marked a significant moment in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, which erupted on October 7 when Hamas launched an attack on Israel. 

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, issued a warning to Israel in a speech on Wednesday, cautioning against initiating a war in Lebanon. 

Mr Nasrallah vowed that Hezbollah would respond without restraint if such actions were taken.

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