Avoiding mentioning Hamas’s Arouri, IDF spokesman says military is at ‘very high level of readiness’

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Firefighters try to extinguish the fire inside an apartment following a massive explosion in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, in which Hamas deputy head Saleh al-Arouri was killed. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
Firefighters try to extinguish the fire inside an apartment following a massive explosion in the southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, in which Hamas deputy head Saleh al-Arouri was killed. (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)

Speaking hours after the alleged Israeli assassination of Hamas terror chief Saleh al-Arouri in Lebanon, IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari opens his nightly briefing by saying that the military is at a “very high level of readiness — in all arenas, in defense and offense.

“We are in a high state of readiness for any scenario,” Hagari adds, without mentioning al-Arouri.

“The most important thing to say tonight is that we are focused and remain focused on fighting Hamas,” Hagari adds.

Regarding the homefront, he urges the public to continue to act responsibly and follow the Homefront Command’s lifesaving instructions.

Asked directly by a reporter whether he anticipates fire on central Israel or on the northern city of Haifa in the wake of al-Arouri’s killing, Hagari says: “I’m not referring to what’s been said here [by the reporter] and in other places. We are focused on fighting Hamas. We have been from the start, and we will continue to be.”

Israel has issued no official response to the killing in a Beirut suburb of the Hamas leader.

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