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Israel is planning to assassinate the head of the southern Lebanon-based Shi'ite militia Hezbollah, a development which would "set the region ablaze," one of the group's deputies told an Arab language newspaper on Friday.

Nawaf al-Moussawi, who was Hezbollah's top foreign policy official and who is now running in Lebanon's upcoming parliamentary elections, accused Israel of plotting to assassinate the Shi'ite group's leader, Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah.

Al-Moussawi, who is running for a seat representing the south Lebanese town of Tyre, said that Israel's plan was hatched in concert with Arab governments.

In an interview with the pan-Arab London-based daily newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, al-Moussawi spoke in detail about the elections. He also told the newspaper that Israel's planned large-scale military drill is really a simulation of the army's plan to liquidate Nasrallah.

Al-Moussawi said an Israeli assassination of Nasrallah would "set the region ablaze" and that Hezbollah was preparing for such a scenario.