Iran and Hezbollah Unlikely to Engage in War with Israel after al-Arouri’s Death

The Shiite Iran and Hezbollah likely will not initiate a major clash with Israel over the recent death of Hamas Deputy Chief Saleh al-Arouri, a former top defense chief, as per a senior Hamas official. The official stated that if Hezbollah were to launch missiles at Israel, it could prompt a harsh response, and he doubts Hezbollah’s willingness to do so. Additionally, the official indicated that Iran may not want to risk its proxy in Lebanon to avenge the death of a Palestinian Sunni official with ties to Hamas. Despite their cooperation, Iran and Hamas have had significant differences, and they may not prioritize taking risks for Sunni Palestinians. The official also mentioned that the attack would not necessarily hinder the possibility of a hostage deal in the future.

Moreover, the official discussed the evolving dynamics within Hamas leadership, emphasizing that Gaza Chief Yahya Sinwar has surpassed other Hamas leaders outside of Gaza. The article also mentioned the considerations involved in authorizing high-profile assassinations, stating that such operations are extensively deliberated before receiving approval. The official expressed hope that Israel would target other top Hamas leaders and cited previous instances where Mossad officials disagreed with political leaders over targeted killings.

The official suggested that targeted killings are challenging to execute, and their effectiveness can vary. The Mossad officials reportedly follow the orders of the prime minister, but there have been instances of disagreements and strategic implications in decision-making. It is unclear whether Shiite Iran and Hezbollah will risk a major fight with Israel over the death of a Hamas official.