Olmert's Security Was Boosted Amid Fears of Hezbollah Assassination

Revelation of heightened security measures around former premier come after report that Hezbollah plotted to assassinate him.

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Then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is surrounded by security, June 2008.
Then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is surrounded by security, June 2008.Credit: AP
Amos Harel
Jack Khoury

Security around former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was heightened a year ago due to concerns that Hezbollah would attempt to harm him in retaliation for the assassination of its leaders, it was revealed Wednesday.

The revelation comes following a report earlier Wednesday that Hezbollah plotted to assassinate Olmert in response to the killings of military commander Imad Mughniyeh in 2008 and senior official Hassan Lakkis in 2013.

London-based Arabic-language daily Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed reported Wednesday that the plan was not carried out due to information passed on to Israel by Mohammad Shawraba, a senior official in Hezbollah’s external operations branch.

Shawraba was arrested several months ago by members of Hezbollah’s internal security force and is said to have admitted to collaborating with Israel. Arab media outlets have said that Shawraba had prevented a number of attacks against Israeli targets, most of them abroad, with the information that he is said to have provided to Israel.

Hezbollah has not commented on those reports but has acknowledged that Shawraba was arrested and admitted working with Israel. In fact, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, acknowledged this openly three weeks ago in an interview with the Al-Mayadeen television station.

The CIA and Mossad were responsible for the assassination of Mughniyeh in Damascus, according to a recent report in The Washington Post, quoting former U.S. officials. Last month, Mughniyeh’s son, Jihad, also a high-ranking Hezbollah operative, was killed in an airstrike in Syria widely attributed to Israel.

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