Hamas & IRGC (Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps) Judea and Samaria (Westbank)
Arouri was a founding commander of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas that carried out the Israel 7 Oct. genocidal terrorist attacks. Arouri is credited with orchestrating the deep relationship between Hamas and Iran, and also played a key role in re-establishing the Arab Palestinian terrorist group’s ties with Damascus
Despite having spent years under U.S. terror sanctions, and with a $5 million State Department bounty on his head, he has traveled the region, including in and out of Iran, and collaborated with terrorist figures including the head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Qasem Soleimani, before he was killed by a U.S. airstrike in early 2020.
Arouri is an operational arm of IRGC Quds force and Hezbollah, especially since his direct boss Aruri moved to operate from the Dahieh district in Beirut. He was part of Hamas’ delegation to Tehran several times.
Arouri helped build and lead a new Hamas coalition with Iran and Hezbollah that so alarmed Israel that it sought emergency help from the U.N. Security Council in 2017 and again in 2018 to stop him.
Six weeks before Hamas’ deadly attack on Israel 7 Oct., Arouri did an interview with a Lebanese news outlet. Tucked into it was a specific warning.
“We are preparing for an all-out war,” Saleh al-Arouri said. “We are closely discussing the prospects of this war with all relevant parties.”
Five days after the attacks, Arouri offered Al Jazeera Arabic some of the first inside details about the operation, including how 1,200 members of the Qassam Brigades had been given “detailed instructions” about their targets, the Israeli military’s Gaza Brigade, just across the border from the Gaza Strip.
“We were surprised that the Gaza Brigade collapsed in less than three hours, faster than we expected,” Arouri said.
- Arouri became active with Hamas during the first Palestinian intifada (“uprising”) against Israel in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He became a founding member of Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, in 1991 and helped establish it in Judea and Samaria.
- Hamas Says It Has Enough Israeli Captives To Free All Palestinian Prisoners Speaking to Al Jazeera, Hamas deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri says group expects fighting with Israel to continue after major operation.
- The U.S. Treasury accuses Arouri of serving as “a key financier and financial facilitator for Hamas military cells planning attacks and fomenting unrest.”* In November 2018, the U.S. Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program offered a $5 million reward for information leading to Arouri’s arrest.* Arouri also serves as Hamas’s leader in the West Bank
- Zaher Jabarin is a senior leader of Hamas, and currently serves as the group’s top financial officer. He served as a senior military commander for Hamas, working with deputy Hamas leader Saleh al-Arourito promote terrorist operations in the Judea and Samaria.
- In 2003, the Justice Department named Arouri an unindicted co-conspiratorin a racketeering case against three Hamas operatives in Chicago who were charged with financing terrorism. In the indictment, Arouri was described as a high-ranking Hamas military leader who had received tens of thousands of dollars for terrorist activities, including buying weapons.
Tehran’s suspected involvement in the planning of the Gaza raid has been widely reported. Gen. Esmail Ghaani, who is in charge of supervising Iran’s network of proxy militias as head of the country’s paramilitary Quds Force, repeatedly traveled to Lebanon for covert sessions with leaders of Hamas and Hezbollah, The New York Times reported from the region.
Iran also has supported Hamas militarily, it said, “and has helped it design and produce a domestic missile and rocket system to match the capabilities and material available in Gaza.”
In late October Israeli forces entered al-Arouri’s home in the village of Arura north of Ramallah at dawn, and arrested more than 20 people, including one of his brothers and nine of his nephews, according to AFP.
Israeli forces reportedly thereafter raised a banner over the home showing al-Arouri on the backdrop of an Israeli flag and captioned: “This was the house of Saleh al-Arouri and has become the headquarters of Abu al-Nimer—Israeli intelligence.”
Abu al-Nimer is reportedly an alias for the Israeli intelligence officer responsible for the area.