Middle East News Updates: The killing of a senior Hamas leader in Beirut, explosions in Iran and shipping disruptions in the Red Sea are raising the risk of escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict beyond Gaza.

Arouri’s killing presents difficult choices for Hezbollah

The targeted assassination of Hamas deputy Saleh-al-Arouri, in Beirut presents difficult choices for Hezbollah. It has, so far, engaged in low-intensity exchanges on the border with Israel. Not doing anything may not be a choice, while a forceful response could pose a risk of escalation. Hasan Nasrallah in a long speech noted that Hezbollah was “not afraid of war,” but stopped short of declaring war against Israel, which became an important middle east news update.

Arouri was the co-founder of Hamas’ armed wing al Qassam Brigades, a key interlocutor with Hezbollah, Iran and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and a major proponent of the “axis of resistance” against Israel.

For Israel, the killing of a senior Hamas leader in a secure Hezbollah stronghold away from the border represents a major success and sends a clear signal that Israel is not afraid of taking risk of escalation on its northern border.

Middle East News Updates - Risk of escalation - MitKat Advisory - datasurfr
Image Courtesy: Reuters

Explosions in Iran kill over 100

In another significant event that threatens to accelerate the tensions in the region, over 100 people were killed and nearly 200 injured in Kerman after twin explosions near burial site of Qassem Suleimani. He was killed four years back by a US air strike in Baghdad. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi blamed Israel for the blasts saying it will pay a “heavy price.”

Houthi Attacks in Red Sea pose Risk of Escalation

Another midde news update would be that Houthi drone attacks in the Red Sea continue to disrupt shipping in a very important waterway. The US has sank few Houthi boats and struck Iran-backed groups in Iraq (Katib Hezbollah and affiliates) after three of its soldiers were injured.

Tensions high in the west bank add to Middle East News

While high-intensity operations continue in Gaza in which 23,000 Palestinians have been killed, tensions remain elevated in the West Bank – 320 people have died from military actions and settler attacks and over 5,000 have been arrested. Elsewhere, IDF has also carried retaliatory attacks in Syria.

The risk of escalation in the Middle East is rising. Do you agree? Let us know in the comment section and stay tuned for more Middle East News Updates.

MitKat Advisory and datasurfr help organisations pre-empt and manage operational risks and enable sustainable resilience.

Disclaimer: The article has references to open sources including Al Jazeera and CNN. Image Source: Bloomberg and Reuters.

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