Hezbollah denies report of planning to launch war inside Israel

Other News Materials 15 April 2008 20:33 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - The Lebanese Shiite Movement Hezbollah denied Tuesday a report by the Iranian news agency Fars that it will launch an offensive within Israel itself if the Jewish state started a new war.

"We would not initiate war but in case they wage any war in the future ... there will be a counterattack behind the front lines ... and for the first time since 1948 in Palestine itself," Fars quoted a Hezbollah politburo member as telling Syrian magazine al-Hakika.

Hezbollah said in a statement that al-Hakika magazine "did not conduct an interview with any of the Shura Council members, and thus, remarks attributed to the so-called Shura Council member to Fars news agency are absolutely not true."

The allegedly high-ranking Hezbollah official was also quoted by al-Hakika as saying that the body of slain Hezbollah military commander Imad Mughaniyeh was moved to Lebanon before Syrian secret service agents had the chance to examine it.

Mughaniyeh was assassinated in a Damascus car bombing February 12.

Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah ordered Mughaniyeh's body to be transferred "immediately" to Lebanon minutes after the bombing, Fars quoted the Hezbollah official as saying.

He added that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad asked Nasrallah to keep the identity of the assassinated official secret but the Hezbollah leader refused.

The Shiite group accused Israel of killing Mughaniyeh and pledged to avenge his death.

The Iranian news agency also quoted the Hezbollah Shura Council member as saying the investigation into Mughaniyeh's killing "has ended but we will announce its results at the right time."