By Roi Tov
Why bother checking out Hebrew media? After all, it is partisan and heavily censored. Yet, it often bypasses the military censor* by quoting “foreign sources.” Sometimes it leaks the data to the foreign sources in order to publish a sensitive item. On December 4, 2013, Hebrew media had an overdose of foreign sources quotes, most of them related to the assassination in Beirut of Hassan Lakkis a military leader of the Hezbollah.
This simple trick allows Hebrew media to publish additional details known to the perpetrators without acknowledging responsibility. Those aware of this technique check Hebrew media first, in order to find confirmations on Israel’s responsibility on the current crime.
In the morning following such an assassination one will find such hints on the media. Much later, a semi-official declaration will appear as a secondary news item.
On February 12, 2008, Israel assassinated Imad Fayez Mughniyeh, who also was a senior member of Hezbollah. Headlines read almost as those describing Lakkis’ assassination. Israel denied that it was behind the event until July 19, 2012, when Uzi Arad, who had been Israel National Security Advisor and Head of the Israeli National Security Council, said in an interview published by Haaretz “We have the initiative, we hit Mughniyeh.”
Who was Hassan Lakkis?
Another reason for surveying the Hebrew media is that it invariably provides more details on the assassinated than international media. This was difficult with Hassan Lakkis who occupied secret functions in the military wing of Hezbollah. Seldom is Hebrew media hesitant in its description of the target, yet, this time the reports were full of ambiguous descriptions.
His functions included heading the technology and communications unit, which he restored following the 2006 War between Israel and Hezbollah. Apparently he headed also the missiles corps and headed the military purchase unit of the organization. It is difficult to imagine doing all these at once, and the dates in which he filled each role were not provided. Hezbollah acknowledged that he was a senior military leader but didn’t provide a biography.
His son died fighting Israel in 2006 while he was almost hit in a different air attack.
Was Hebrew media in the assassination site?
The two main Hebrew reports on the event, by Yediot Ahronot and Haaretz, read as if reported from the site. I had the distinctive feeling that they were written by direct witnesses. The exact location of the event, his house in Beirut’s Dahia Shiite quarter, in the southern outskirts of the city, was described and details of the event were provided:
“Five bullets were shot point blank towards Hassan a-Lakkis in what seems to have been the largest termination of a senior Hezbollah member since… Lakkis is considered one of the founders of the Shiite organization…
“Four to five armed persons ambushed Lakkis, who was considered very close to Nassrallah and Mughniyeh, and opened fire on his car with 9mm guns with silencers. Five of the bullets hit the Hezbollah senior member in his head and neck. He was taken to the nearest hospital, where his death was announced at 3AM.”
The description above belongs to Yediot Ahronot. Haaretz, widely recognized as the Voice of the Shin Beth secret police, added “It was a very clean termination operation, performed in an extraordinarily professional way.”
Hebrew readers understand it as “We did it. It went well.”
A few years from now, the official disclosure will confirm this. Meanwhile, one should take a careful look at the published pictures, especially at the large one reproduced above. Its caption reads “Also he is in the crosshairs. Nasrallah (Picture AFP)”
Countries cannot declare war on individuals and target them. This is formally a war crime. The assassination of Mughniyeh and Lakkis were war crimes. The Hebrew newspaper did murder incitement against the leader of an organization it doesn’t like. Operation Cast Lead provided well documented war crimes by Israel. Turkey is conducting trials against senior IDF officers for war crimes during the Freedom Flotilla massacre. Israel claims that it has the right to attack others while denying others the right to defend themselves. This is a Mickey Mouse system of law, clearly illegitimate and promoting eternal violence and war.
Isn’t it time to put Israel to trial in an international court as Nazi Germany was in Nuremberg?
Roi Tov is author of The Cross of Bethlehem