Nabil Amr
Palestinian writer and politician

Al-Arouri…And Lethal Technology

Saleh al-Arouri decided his fate when he chose to take a path that turns one into a prospective martyr. Spending a long time imprisoned in his homeland, or dying a martyr wherever his war leads him. He was threatened with assassination in Türkiye. Although he had reasonable protection, it was not a guarantee.

He had been a drone target since he settled in Beirut, not as a political refugee or a man fleeing death, but as a leader of a front that did a lot of damage in Israel. Thus, Israel issued a death sentence against him, making several attempts until finally succeeding in the same place where it leveled buildings to the ground when Yasser Arafat’s presence was suspected. The same place where Kamal Nasser, Kamal Adwan, and Abu Youssef al-Najjar, were killed, when a large force was sent for them. If not for Yasser Arafat's caution, which he maintained throughout his life, he would have been the fourth.

In Beirut, the capital of assassinations in the Middle East, Israeli explosives, silencers, reconnaissance planes, and bombers operated non-stop, pursuing leaders and cadres, including the star of stars, the martyr and son of a martyr, Ali Hassan Salameh. “If you are Palestinian, then you have a bullet, a bomb, or a shell with your name on it,” we used to say at the time.

We live in a golden era for lethal technology. Israel has surpassed all the killers of the ages, inventing a method for killing every human being.

For a child, even if it be but a fetus within its mother's womb...there's death.

For a mother, even a nursing one...there's death.

For school and university students and their professors... there's death.

And for every human, whether one with a profession, holding a pen, or merely a passerby... there's death for all.

In an era when lethal technology is flourishing, drones and guns, both loud and silenced, have shortened distances. Wherever a Palestinian is found, all means are mobilized to reach him, whether he is in Rome, Paris, Nicosia, Malta, or Tunis.

The intelligence agencies of the world unite against him, share information about him, count his breaths in his sleep, photograph him at the door of the library he frequents, and the means of transport he uses. To kill Arafat, an air bridge was set up from a military base on the outskirts of Tel Aviv to allow the plane to refuel in the air and cross three thousand miles to kill Arafat in Hammam al-Shatt in Tunis, but the man's caution thwarted the attempt.

Another was set up to kill Khalil al-Wazir in the same place, but Abu Jihad was not fated to survive. Just as he is not the first in this series of assassinations, he will be the last. The man knew his destiny; indeed he chose and decided it. He knows that in the fight against Israel, no one is safe.

There is no escape from it in the golden era of lethal technology, no for those who do not possess the same kind of tools as their killers. This technology kills both up close and from afar, with gunpowder and poisonous polonium, and with the press of a button somewhere else in the universe, a drone is made to drop its bombs with no less than one hundred percent precision.

Unfortunately, if Israel does not have a particular piece of equipment, then the master of technology, the US, supplies it to them. And Arouri, who is one of its top targets, does not have similar technology to use against his opponents... its defining characteristic is its asymmetry.

Arouri's prophecy about himself came true. He was finally martyred and his death, like his life, was an earthquake that shook the universe, sent leaders and armies to shelters, imposed a state of alert that stretches from Bab el-Mandeb to Gaza, and left every military operations room puzzling over the how, when, and where, it will be retaliated to. The Israelis exchange whispers in celebration, but only for a moment, as they know that it is not the story of a man they pursued for a long time and finally captured... It is the story of enduring injustice inflicted on a people seeking life by any means possible, a mystery that drones, gun muzzles, machine guns, and silencers cannot solve...

The only thing that can solve it, and there is no alternative... is justice.