Hundreds mourn Hamas leader at Beirut funeral

Published January 5, 2024
Mourners carry the coffin of Hamas’ deputy leader, Saleh al-Aruri, killed on January 2, 2024 in a strike in Beirut’s southern suburbs, during his funeral procession in Lebanon’s capital on January 4, 2024. — AFP
Mourners carry the coffin of Hamas’ deputy leader, Saleh al-Aruri, killed on January 2, 2024 in a strike in Beirut’s southern suburbs, during his funeral procession in Lebanon’s capital on January 4, 2024. — AFP

BEIRUT: Hundreds of people attended the funeral in Beirut on Thursday of Hamas number two Saleh Al Aruri, who was killed in an Israeli strike in Lebanon two days ago.

Tuesday’s strike that killed Aruri was the first on the Lebanese capital since the Gaza crisis unfolder on Oct 7.

Calling on Hamas to avenge his death and the killing of five other members of the Palestinian group on Tuesday, the mourners gathered at a mosque for prayers, befo­re marching to Shatila refugee camp where three of them were buried.

The coffins of the three, Aruri, Azzam Al Aqraa of the Hamas military wing Ezzedine Al Qassam Brigades, and Mohammad Al Rais, were draped in Palestinian and Hamas flags.

A machine-gun was laid on top of each coffin and heavy gunfire rang out as the funeral procession made its way to the cemetery, drowning out chants of “Allahu Akbar” by mourners waving Palestinian flags and those of Hamas ally Islamic Jihad.

“Abu Obeida, bomb Tel Aviv,” the mourners shouted, addressing the Gaza spokesman for Qassam Brigades by his nom de guerre.

Aruri and the six other Hamas members were killed in a strike in a south Beirut stronghold of Hezbollah.

Published in Dawn, January 5th, 2024

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