Israel behind another assassination?

Steven LeBlanc

Hezbollah leader Nasrallah: Israel will be ‘punished’ for al-Laqqis’ death.

Hassan al-Laqqis was “assassinated” at around midnight earlier this month in the southern Hadath district of the Lebanese capital. Gunmen fired shots as he was in his car in the parking lot of his residence. He died of his wounds soon after the attack.

Hezbollah said in a statement that Israel was responsible for the killing. “The killing of Hassan al-Laqqis is not a simple matter between us and the Israelis,” said Nasrallah.

“There are scores to settle between us and the Israelis; there are old accounts and new ones,” he said. “The murderers will be punished sooner or later,” Nasrallah promised, “His blood was not shed in vain. The punishment will take part when we decide. Those who killed will not be safe anywhere in the world. Vengeance is coming.” And, “If the Israelis think … that Hezbollah is busy and that Israel will not pay the price, I say to them today, ‘You are wrong’,” he said.

There has been speculation that a Sunni terrorist group killed al-Laqqis, but that is not what many observers of Lebanon and Hezbollah conclude.
Tony Badran, a columnist for the Beirut-based website NOW Lebanon and a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, expressed to the Jerusalem Post “that while both Sunni groups and Israel would benefit from the assassination, the available evidence at this point leads him to point the finger more in Israel’s direction”.

Although it cannot be ultimately proven—Israel, it appears, has been behind recent assassinations including:

• Hezbollah’s Imad Mughniyeh who died in a car bomb explosion in Damascus in February 2008.
• Later in 2008, Syrian Army Gen. Mohamed Soleiman was killed by a sniper. Muhammad Suleiman was a high-ranking general in the Syrian Army, and from the mid-90s until his death was Bashar al-Assad’s key organizer for buying weapons and exporting arms to Hezbollah, to the development of what was the beginning of Syria’s nuclear facility.
• In January 2010 senior Hamas official Mahmoud Mabhouh was assassinated. Al-Mabhouh was drugged and suffocated in a luxury hotel room in Dubai, it became clear that several dozen Mossad agents had traveled to the United Arab Emirates using fake European passports, they entered the hotel then proceeded with the killing.
• In 2011 Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam was killed in a mysterious blast at a military base outside Tehran. The commander, Gen. Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, was a crucial figure in Iran’s efforts to build long-range missiles.
• Ahmad Jabari was killed at the outset of Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012. Jabari, officially the second in command of Hamas’s Izzadin Kassam Brigades was at the top of Israel’s most wanted list. It was Jabari who personally oversaw the kidnapping and captivity of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit.

Israel will continue to fight Iran and its proxies through the sword of assassination—Assassination of its enemies has been one of Israel’s most effective tools going way back to ancient times:

Judges 3:16-21 Now Ehud had made a double-edged sword about a foot and a half long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing. He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man… Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his summer palace and said, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king rose from his seat, Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly.

No doubt this pattern will continue in 2014.

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