Tags: Israel | Lebanon | Syria | Israel | strike | Hezbollah | Samir Kantar

Notorious Hezbollah Militant 'Killed in Israeli Raid'

Image: Notorious Hezbollah Militant 'Killed in Israeli Raid'
Samir Kantar (AP)

Sunday, 20 Dec 2015 07:36 AM

A Lebanese militant notorious for the murder of three Israelis, including a four-year-old girl, has been killed in an Israeli air raid near the Syrian capital, his Hezbollah movement said.

Samir Kantar was freed by Israel as part of a prisoner swap in 2008, three decades after the killings, and he became a high-profile figure in Hezbollah.

In September, the United States placed Kantar on its terror blacklist, saying he had "played an operational role, with the assistance of Iran and Syria, in building up Hezbollah's terrorist infrastructure in the Golan Heights".

The 54-year-old was killed on Saturday night "when the Zionist enemy planes bombed the building where he lived in Jaramana," southeast of Damascus, the Lebanese Shiite militant group said in a statement.

The Syrian state news agency SANA reported the "martyrdom" of Kantar in a "terrorist raid".

It released a picture showing Syrian pro-government forces standing guard next to a partially collapsed building where Kantar was said to have been killed.

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said that her country "has not claimed" the strike but "was happy to learn the news".

"He was an arch-terrorist who killed a young girl by fracturing her skull and had continued his terrorist activities after being freed," she told military radio.

"It's a good thing he met his maker."

The family of the Israeli victims said "justice has been done."

 

 

Kantar's brother Bassem confirmed the militant's death on Twitter, saying: "We are proud to have joined the long list of families of martyrs."

Kantar and four other prisoners received a triumphant red carpet welcome in Lebanon in 2008 when they were exchanged for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers.

Wearing a Hezbollah military uniform, he waved to applauding crowds under a shower of confetti.

In an interview with AFP shortly afterwards, Kantar said he was more than ever committed to wiping Israel off the map.

"The resistance will end only when the Zionist entity disappears," he vowed.

Former Israeli national security adviser Yaakov Amidror said on Sunday that Kantar had been "very active in the north part of the Golan Heights in the Syrian side, responsible for preparing the area for attacks against Israel".

"And if he is neutralised by someone, it's good news for the state of Israel," said Amidror, but added that he did not know whether Israel was responsible for his death.

Asked why Israel does not claim credit for such incidents, he said it makes it less likely for the other side to retaliate.

 

 

Kantar, who had earned the title of longest-serving Arab prisoner in Israel, was still a teenager when he and three other members of the Palestine Liberation Front infiltrated the Israeli village of Nahariya by sea from Lebanon.

The militants shot dead Danny Haran, 28, and battered his daughter Einat's skull with rifle butts in an attack that shocked Israel to the core.

Kantar was sentenced to five life terms plus 47 years for murdering the father and daughter, as well as an Israeli policeman.

Haran's widow Smadar told army radio on Sunday that "justice has been done, especially when we know that he has continued to be active in terrorism against us since his release."

Their second daughter suffocated as Smadar tried to keep the two-year-old from making noise and revealing their hiding spot during the kidnapping of her husband and other daughter.

Haran's brother Ronny told the Ynet news website that Kantar's death is "a small comfort, but it doesn't detract from the pain one bit".

It is not the first time Hezbollah has accused Israel of killing one of its senior figures in Syria.

In February 2008, top Hezbollah official Imad Moughnieh, wanted by Interpol over the car bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires, was killed in Damascus. Israel denied responsibility.

Hezbollah was the only party that did not disarm after the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war.

In 2006, the militant group fought a month-long war with the Jewish state that devastated parts of Lebanon.

That conflict killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and around 160 Israelis, most of them soldiers.

 

 

© AFP 2017

   
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A Lebanese militant notorious for the murder of three Israelis, including a four-year-old girl, has been killed in an Israeli air raid near the Syrian capital, his Hezbollah movement said.Samir Kantar was freed by Israel as part of a prisoner swap in 2008, three decades...
Lebanon, Syria, Israel, strike, Hezbollah, Samir Kantar, Yaakov Amidror
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2015-36-20
Sunday, 20 Dec 2015 07:36 AM
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