Hizbullah chief: Israelis fear our response to Mugniyah assassination
Addressing nearing anniversary of Mugniyah assassination, Nasrallah says 'Israelis are living in fear of our revenge. Don’t expect me to say when we will strike'; accuses Israel of holding on to remains of 350 Lebanese and Palestinian gunmen
Hizbullah Chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said Thursday that "what happened in Gaza was a political and military failure for Israel. Some of the Israelis are using the political considerations of an election time to mislead others."
Speaking of the nearing one-year anniversary of the assassination of top Hizbullah commander Imad Mugniyah, he said: "The Israelis are living in fear of our revenge. Don’t expect me to say when we will strike or respond to what the Israelis claim had happened." Nasrallah was referring to reports in Israel according to which a large-scale terror attack planned by Hizbullah in Europe had been thwarted.
In his speech, delivered in honor of "Liberty Day," Nasrallah accused Israel of holding on to the remains of 350 Lebanese and Palestinian gunmen, instead of returning them to their families.
"We do not claim to have an exact number, but we know that about 350 Palestinian and Lebanese fatalities have yet to be returned to their families. We consider them to be missing in action and hold Israel responsible for their fate," he said.
Nasrallah said the terror group had proof that Israeli security forces snatched gunmen's bodies while operating in Lebanon. "We are in possession of photos that prove the forces of the occupation took the bodies and airlifted them (to Israel). The number of the missing gunmen is in the hundreds. Most of them are Lebanese, while the rest are Palestinian.
"Israel is responsible for their bodies because some of them were captured at Israeli checkpoints, while others were apprehended at their own homes and were never heard from again.
Nasrallah called on the Lebanese government to retrieve the bodies. The Hizbullah chief specifically mentioned two of the terrorists who were killed during of a bus on Israel's Coastal Highway in which 38 Israeli civilians were killed, 13 of them children, and 71 were wounded.
Hizbullah expected to receive the remains of Dalal Mughrabi, who led the attack, and Yahya Skaf during the exchange deal in which the bodies of kidnapped IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were returned to Israel in July 2008.
As part of the agreement Israel exhumed the bodies of gunmen buried at the cemetery for enemy combatants near Kibbutz Amiad in northern Israel and returned them to Lebanon.
The remains of Mughrabi and Skaf were sent to France for DNA testing, but Nasrallah said that there was no way of knowing for certain that the remains belonged to the two terrorists.
The sheikh added that "the issue of the 11,000 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel should fall under the responsibility of the Arab nation and should be treated as jihadi and moral matter."