David Barnea, the chief of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, has publicly declared a commitment to target Hamas members responsible for the October 7 attacks on Israel. This vow follows the recent assassination of Saleh Arouri, Hamas’ deputy head, in Beirut. Despite Israel not formally acknowledging its role in the strike, statements by Barnea suggest Israeli involvement. He paralleled the current situation to the aftermath of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, indicating a long-term pursuit of the perpetrators.
Arouri, a prominent figure in Hamas, was responsible for the group’s operations in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and served as a liaison with Hezbollah. His assassination marks a significant escalation in the conflict, as it is the first instance of Israel targeting Hamas leaders abroad since the war in Gaza began. This action reflects a broader strategy by Israel, echoed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to eliminate Hamas leaders regardless of their location.