Israel must 'assume' Hezbollah will attack
Feb 18,2008 00:00 by UPI

JERUSALEM - Israel "must assume" Hezbollah, with for foreign help, will attack Israel in response to a top leader's assassination, Israel's defense minister said Sunday.

Imad Mugniyah, a top official in Hezbollah, was assassinated in Syria by unknown operatives Tuesday. He was listed on several fugitive watch lists and implicated in the 1983 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut that killed more than 350 people.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Sunday the assassination was "a hard hit for Hezbollah and global terrorism," said.

"Because of this, we must assume that Hezbollah will attempt to respond (with an attack) in Israel or abroad. It is possible they will do so with the help of Syria or Iran."

Barak said Hezbollah decided to blame Israel for the assassination despite a lack of evidence from Syria or Iran. He said Israel did not plan to target Hezbollah, but said Israeli forces were on standby.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.