Hezbollah blamed Israel for an attack in Beirut that killed one of its commanders, Hassan al-Laqqis, despite the fact that a jihadist group claimed responsibility for the assassination.
A group called “The Free Sunnis of Baalbek Battalion” posted on Twitter that it “officially claims the heroic jihadist operation of assassinating the leading member in the party of the devil Hassan Houlo al-Laqqis in [Hezbollah’s] home ground.”
Yet a Hezbollah statement on Wednesday said, “The Israeli enemy tried to kill Laqqis many times… but its attempts have failed until this foul assassination overnight… The Israeli enemy is naturally directly to blame.”
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor noted that Hezbollah often reflexively blames Israel for such incidents.
“[The killing of Laqqis] has strictly nothing to do Israel. Hezbollah has made a fool of itself in the past with these automatic and groundless accusations against Israel… If they are looking for explanations as to what is happening to them, they should examine their own actions,” Palmor said.
Laqqis was believed to have been the head of Hezbollah’s weapons program.