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December 20, 2013 5:15 pm

Nasrallah Vows to ‘Punish’ Israel Over Death of Top Operative

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Assassinated Hezbollah leader Hassan al-Laqqis.

Assassinated Hezbollah leader Hassan al-Laqqis.

JNS.orgHassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s secretary-general, blamed Israel for the assassination of his top operative Hassan al-Laqqis last month and vowed to “punish” Israel for the killing.

“All evidence indicates that Israel is behind the assassination,” Nasrallah said Friday in a televised tribute to al-Laqqis, the Jerusalem Post reported.

“If the Israelis think… that Hezbollah is busy and that Israel will not pay the price, I say to them today, ‘You are wrong,'” Nasrallah added.

Al-Laqqis was shot in the head at close range outside his home in Beirut earlier this month. A jihadist group called “The Free Sunnis of Baalbek Battalion” took responsibility for the assassination and Israel has denied any involvement. Israel has also hinted that the motive behind the killing may lie with Hezbollah’s backing for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against the Sunni Muslim rebels.

“It’s an astonishing phenomenon to be honest with you. If you can just look at historically, the fight over Syria has ignited it [the Sunni/Shi’a divide] like never before,” Dr. Fouad Ajami, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, recently told JNS.org.

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