(JTA) — Hezbollah claimed that Israel assassinated its technology and weapons chief near Beirut.
According to the Lebanese terror group, Hussein al-Laqis was shot at a parking lot outside his home south of the Lebanese capital on Tuesday night and died the next morning in a hospital. Israel denied involvement in the shooting.
“The Israeli enemy is naturally directly to blame,” the Hezbollah statement read, according to Haaretz. “This enemy must shoulder complete responsibility and repercussions for this ugly crime and its repeated targeting of leaders and cadres of the resistance.”
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor denied the Hezbollah claim.
“Israel has nothing to do with this incident,” Palmor said, according to reports. “These automatic accusations are an innate reflex with Hezbollah. They don’t need evidence, they don’t need facts; they just blame anything on Israel.”
Laqis, according to Haaretz, was a member of the group’s military elite and was in touch with Syrian and Iranian government intelligence. His death is a setback for Hezbollah, which has involved itself heavily in Syria’s civil war, sparking violence in Lebanon.