Hassan al-Laqis, long known as the Hezbollah commander was gunned down in front of his home Wednesday, resulting in tensions growing, as supporters turned to blame Israel. The supporters reveled al-Laqis, calling him the right hand of the group’s leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.
In Syria, Hezbollah forces are fighting with the aid of President Bashar Assad’s troops, sending a string of anger through Sunni rebels who want Assad out. al-Laqis has allegedly been connected to the Shiite party and their leadership.
The Hezbollah group dispatched information, advising of the brief details of al-Laqis’ death. They mention their commander was gunned down outside of his home, as he was returning from work. The shooting took place closer to midnight. Two miles southwest of Beirut, al-Laqis had pulled his car into the ground floor garage and never made it inside his home. Officials close to the case state al-Laqis was shot several times, seemingly with a silencer at close range.
Citizens watched the local news as the media focused in on the crime scene, footprints marred in blood could be seen as they lead to an olive grove, close by. Officials warned off the area with yellow police tape as the grim diagnosis of al-Laqis’ end was analyzed.
Hezbollah was quick to notate in their press release that Israel officials consistently made al-Laqis a target, following him from destination to destination as they stalked him, resulting in his demise. The following statement from the angered group was released:
The Israeli enemy is naturally directly to blame. This enemy must shoulder complete responsibility and repercussions for this ugly crime and its repeated targeting of leaders and cadres of the resistance.
Yigal Palmor who is the spokesman for the Israeli foreign ministry was quick to come to the defense of his country, waving away any involvement. Palmor stated the blame-game was a natural reflex for Hezbollah and the group’s reactions commonly “don’t need facts, they just blame anything on Israel.”
Israel has long been tied to attacks against Hezbollah. The country’s spy service was named during a 1992 ambush against former Hezbollah leader, Sheikh Abbas and his family, which included Abbas’ 5-year-old son. Within the next decade, Sheikh Ragheb Harb, another leader within the Hezbollah regime was shot. And, it was just in 2005 when the Hezbollah top military commander, Imad Mughniey, was shot, allegedly by Israeli forces. Just last month, Hezbollah strongholds have been blamed on a rash of fatal car bombs and suicide bombers, which targeted the Iranian Embassy in Beirut. The brutal attack left 23 people dead.
Nasrallah is reportedly enraged at the targeted killing of his top commander. The assassination happened a mere few hours after Nasrallah wrapped up an extensive interview with a local news station. The leader pointed to a link between Saudi Arabia and Israel for the Embassy bombings.
The bloodshed between Israel and Hezbollah have been extensive. The last major event of lost lives stemmed from a 2006 war that lasted a month. More than 1200 Lebanese died, a majority of those deaths, civilians. Over 150 Israelis were killed, a majority of those deaths were soldiers.
Now, someone targeted the Hezbollah commander, Hassan al-Laqis, who was gunned down in a garage, outside of his home Wednesday. The group has pointed a finger of blame to Israel. Israeli defense groups and officials have quickly denied the attack leaving many to wonder, worry and wait when the next attack will come and who will be the next target.