UN chief sees assassination of Hamas leader in Beirut as worrying development

"Obviously, the developments are extremely worrying. And I think this just really highlights what the secretary-general had just said about the dangers of the spillover of this (Israeli-Palestinian) conflict in the wider region," said a UN spokesperson.

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People gather outside an apartment belonging to the Hamas movement destroyed by an Israeli attack on the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, on Jan. 2, 2024. (Xinhua/Bilal Jawich)

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sees the assassination of a senior Hamas leader in a suspected Israeli strike in Beirut as a worrying development, said a UN spokesperson on Tuesday.

“Obviously, the developments are extremely worrying. And I think this just really highlights what the secretary-general had just said about the dangers of the spillover of this (Israeli-Palestinian) conflict in the wider region,” said Florencia Soto Nino, associate spokesperson for Guterres.

“The secretary-general urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint and take urgent steps to de-escalate tensions in the region,” she said.

Guterres has mentioned that this continued fighting has the risk of a great miscalculation by multiple actors, she said. “And I think this is what we’ve been seeing in different parts of the region, sadly. So we again appeal to all members of the international community to do everything in their power to prevent an escalation to the situation there.”

She said the world body did not have all the details of the attack.

A Hamas source told Xinhua that the movement’s deputy chief, Saleh al-Arouri, was killed on Tuesday evening in an Israeli attack on the southern suburb of the Lebanese capital of Beirut. The source added that several aides of al-Arouri were also killed in the attack targeting a Hamas office. There was no immediate comment from Israel on the incident.

Xinhua News Agency

Founded in 1931, Xinhua News Agency is one of the largest news organizations in the world, with over 10,000 employees across the globe. As the main source of news and information for China, Xinhua plays a key role in shaping the country's media landscape and communicating its perspectives to the world. The agency produces a wide range of content, including text news articles, photos, videos, and social media posts, in both Chinese and English, and its reports are widely used by media organizations around the world. Xinhua also operates several international bureaus, including in key capitals like Washington, D.C., Moscow, and London, to provide in-depth coverage of global events.

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