HezbollahDenies Playing Cards

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Friday, September 17, 2010, YnetNews reported:

Hezbollah has prepared a deck of playing cards serving as a hit list of senior Israeli officials it holds responsible for the February 2008 assassination of senior member of the organization, Imad Mughniyeh, in Damascus. Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Rai Al-Aam has publicized a hit list of senior Israeli officials. At the top of the list, constituting the "ace card" is Mossad Director Meir Dagan.

Today, Hezbollah is denying the story:

Hizbullah denied it has produced playing cards bearing pictures of Israeli officials to be targeted in assassinations.
The denial came in response to Kuwaiti, Israeli and U.S. media reports claiming Hizbullah had produced the cards to identify candidates for "revenge assassinations" over the killing of top Hizbullah commander Imad Mughniyeh in a Damascus bombing in 2008.
"It would be against the culture of Hizbullah for it to use such reckless methods," Hizbullah spokesman Ibrahim Moussawi told The Daily Star.
He noted that card playing is generally disapprove in Islamic culture, adding that "Hizbullah does not endorse or sanction" the production or use of such cards.
The Hezbollah denial is of course absurd.
First of all, "reckless" is exactly the description one would give to Hezbollah's kidnapping of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser in 2006--which led to a war for which many in Lebanon have still not forgiven Hezbollah.
Secondly, it is odd of Hezbollah to be squeamish about playing cards due to "Islamic culture" when they are heavily involved in illegal drug trafficking. In October 2005, Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, director of Director of American Center for Democracy, testified before the House of Commons in Ottawa about terrorism financing:

...Since the mid 1980s, Hizballah has used illicit drugs as a major funding source and weapon against the West. An official Iranian fatwa ruled: “We are making these drugs for Satan America and the Jews. If we cannot kill them with guns, so we will kill them with drugs.”
If Hezbollah can make that excuse to allow them to use the drug trade to fund their terrorism, it's a cinch to get around the issue of manufacturing playing cards.
By the way, the YnetNews article mentions claims by Hezbollah that they had been close to assassinating an Israeli "big fish," but called it off because of the Gaza Flotilla episode. That same article also mentions that Israel came close on two occasions to assassinating Hezbollah Nasrallah.
Nasrallah was not available for comment, but I think we can imagine what it might be.





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