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LEBANON: Israelis say spy chief killed Hezbollah commander Mughniyah

October 5, 2008 |  9:06 am

Dagan A panel of experts assembled by Israel's most powerful television channel honored Israeli Mossad chief Meir Dagan as the nation's "man of the year" for, among other things, killing Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah in the Syrian capital in February, according to a recent report in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Up until now, Israel has publicly refused to acknowledge any role in the car bomb blast that killed Mughniyah, who was suspected of masterminding attacks on Israeli targets around the world and was believed to have been the brains behind the Hezbollah militia's surprise performance in the 2006 war with Israel.

Many in Syria and Lebanon suspect the Jewish state's security services had a hand in the assassination.

But according to Haaretz journalist and frequent government critic Gideon Levy, the Israeli Channel 2 panel last week cited "the killing of senior Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus, a few more mysterious and unnecessary killings and, of course, the bombing of the alleged nuclear site in Syria" as accomplishments that made Dagan deserving of 'at least 10 Israel Prizes.'"

The television station aired rare footage of outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert meeting Dagan in his office telling him, "You did well," according to Levy.

Levy quoted political analyst Emmanuel Rosen praising the selection:

[He is] a man who has done only good. [He is] a man who would cut the throats of terrorists with his own hands, using a box-cutter — a man of action with a knife in his teeth.

— Borzou Daragahi in Beirut

Photo: Mossad chief Meir Dagan. Credit: File photo

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