Salam Eid, a veteran Lebanese journalist who specializes in covering Hezbollah, gave a chilling interview (video) to Israel’s InfoLive.tv about the prospects for revenge against Israel for the killing of Imad Mugniyah. Though Eid tells us nothing new, just hearing what is likely in store for Israel gives one pause:
In my opinion, the moment Hezbollah heard about the news of the killing of Imad Mugniyah it took the decision to retaliate. It will be looking to target key people in the Israeli government or key people in the IDF…They will do whatever it takes to take out or kill anyone that they can reach outside Israel. Hezbollah is coordinating with Syria and Iran, no doubt about it. But when they do their special operations, I believe they will do it with the Iranians only; and if they will be capable of carrying on a unique operation in their perspective–I mean a unique operation in their perspective will mean they will be able to target a key person in Israeli intelligence or a key person from the ministry of defense. And I could tell you that Imad Mugniyah is for Hezbollah what Ehud Barak is for Israel.
…Israel should be ready for a severe retaliation whether it will happen tomorrow or one year from now. After years of covering those people I can tell you if they need to do something to take revenge they will wait and wait until they can make it happen. So the Israelis should not forget about it and three months from now they should enjoy their life in a normal way and then the retaliation will reach them.
Eid, who knows Hezbollah far better than I, says that Mugniyah is irreplaceable, which will only ratchet up the group’s thirst for revenge. Given what I’ve written here about previous assassinated Hamas and Hezbollah figures and their successors, it seems to me that Mugniyah’s replacement will be at least as resourceful as he was. And this does not bode well for Israel.
A Ynetnews report notes that the Shin Bet is increasing security for ministers traveling overseas for private vacations. The Israeli intelligence agency shares Eid’s belief that Hezbollah will attempt to strike at Israeli targets abroad. It will find that it is one thing to plan a targeted assassination when you know who your quarry is and can track him and execute your plan. It is quite another to defend against such a liquidation when you don’t know who the enemy’s target is, nor where nor how they will strike.