Six members of the organization, including Jihad Mughniyeh, were killed Sunday on the Syrian Golan Heights in an attack attributed to the IDF. Jihad Mughniyeh had been planning deadly terrorist attacks against Israel, Western intelligence sources said Sunday.
- Jihad Mughniyeh killed in alleged Israeli strike in Quneitra
"The attack on the six members of Hezbollah will be answered with a painful and unexpected response, but we can assume it will be handled so as not to drag us into all-out war," sources close the organization were quoted as saying by Lebanese newspaper As-Safir, itself affiliated with Hezbollah.
Sources close to Hezbollah speaking to the Lebanese newspaper made it clear that the organization would not act out of emotion and would "take its time" to determine its next step.
"The unique considerations led the enemy leadership to make the decision to commit the crime yesterday," Ibrahim al-Amin, the editor of Hezbollah's Al-Akhbar newspaper, wrote Monday in a column entitled "This is what comes to mind."
According to al-Amin, the Hezbollah response "will not be born out of emotion, but from considerations with close attention to detail."
Al-Amin continued his threats of a Hezbollah retaliation against Israel and described how he imagined a war with Israel would play out.
"In my vision Israel will find itself in total darkness and the residents (of Israel) will not have a lighting system…
"In my vision, all the foreigners who are in Israel during the war will escape by foot or by car to the border crossings with Jordan and Egypt or to civilian ports in order to leave. IAF planes will leave to carry out missions and never return. They will not find where to land because there will no longer be an airport that will let them land and then they will land in neighboring countries and ask for asylum," said Al-Amin.
Al-Amin further threatened that in his vision of a future war, he sees Hezbollah launching four to five thousand rockets a day at Israel "eliminating hundreds of targets in one day."
Al-Amin said that Hezbollah would launch "hundreds of thousands of rockets, from the heavy sort, towards Israel that would hit hundreds of central targets," both civilian and military.
Another article in the As-Safir newspaper titled "The bood of Quneitra brings Hezbollah closer to the Golan Heights" quoted security sources in Quneitra as saying that the assassination of Hezbollah leaders by the hands of Israel does not weaken the organization's operations in the Golan Heights.
"The blood of the martyrs has only increased the determination of the fighters," the sources were quoted as saying in As-Safir. "Israel did not succeed in separating the front from Rosh Hanikra to the Golan Heights just as it will not succeed in preventing Hezbollah from entering the Galil during the next war. The response for yesterday's crime is coming very soon."
In an interview with Ynet, former Shin Bet head Ya'akov Peri responded to allegations that the Israeli strike against Hezbollah was made because of political considerations before the upcoming elections.
"The IDF and its leaders are not in an election campaign. Whoever thinks that this type of operation can be planned at the last minute is mistaken. Whoever attempts to make a connection between this attack and the elections in Israel is doing so for his own political needs. To tie the attack to the elections is irresponsible," said Peri.