Israel wondering “how and when” Hizbollah will exact revenge for Mugniyah’s killing
Jerusalem (AsiaNews) – The question is not whether Hizbollah will want to take revenge for the killing of its military chief Imad Mugniyah, but rather how and when. On this Israel’s newspapers agree. They also agree that the demise of the man responsible for the bloodiest anti-Israeli and anti-American terrorist attacks (except for 9/11) is something good.
For Haaretz, the issues matter. Firstly, “the killing created shock and awe in Hizbollah and damaged its self-confidence.” This way the organisation's own stability has been shaken, raising suspicions about traitors within and, without any doubt, harming its operational capabilities.
However, the “big and more important question” for Haaretz “is not whether Hizbollah will respond, but how and when.
“There is no doubt Hizbollah and its Iranian masters, who had excellent relations with Mughniyah, have long memories and will demand revenge.”
The internal situation in Lebanon and the lack of direct evidence tying Israel directly to the killing, will for the Israeli daily restrain Hizbollah from acting against Israel on its territory.
The more reasonable and likeliest possibility is that Hizbollah will strike at an Israeli embassy in places like Jordan, Egypt or some African country.
Yedioth Ahronoth also focused on Hizbullah’s likely revenge. For the paper, Imad Mugniyah’s assassination was not only a blow to Hizbullah, but also to “Iran’s deterrent power in the international community.”
Among other things, Mugniyah “managed the joint Hizbullah-Iran apparatus responsible for international terror attacks,” that is “one of the most important tools used by Tehran [. . .] to deter the United States and Israel from taking military action against its nuclear project.”
Now it “is reasonable” to think that Hizbullah’s top priority at this point in time would be to restore their deterrent power through international terror attacks against American, Israeli and Jewish interests.
It won’t happen immediately since the Iranian-Hizbullah terror networks have been dormant in recent years.
Still for Yedioth Ahronoth, the major contribution of the assassination to Israel’s security is in restoring the sense of deterrence eroded in the Second Lebanon War.
For the Jerusalem Post Mughniyeh's killing may never officially be attributed to Israel, but Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defence Minister Ehud Barak will try to find a way to ensure they receive credit for it nonetheless.
“The assassination couldn't have come at a better time for the two Ehuds” who are still struggling at home because of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip.
With the killing, “Olmert won some more time ahead of an apparently inevitable Gaza invasion that he seems to dread.”