Israel Prepares for Possible Retaliation After Kuntar Eliminated

YERUSHALAYIM -
A Palestinian boy holds a framed picture of Lebanese prisoner Samir Kuntar. Photo By Abed Rahim Khatib /Flash90
A Palestinian boy holds a framed picture of Lebanese prisoner Samir Kuntar. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Israel was preparing for a possible response by terror group Hizbullah after the IDF reportedly eliminated arch-terrorist Samir Kuntar, a notorious Lebanese terrorist who was behind one of the worst terror attacks in Israeli history. MK Eyal Ben Reuven (Zionist Camp), who was the IDF Deputy Commander of Northern Forces at the time of the terror attack, said that “Kuntar was a disgusting killer who murdered in cold blood the Haran family, and after he was released by Israel went back to full activity as a terrorist. If true, the IDF deserves much praise for its actions.

“Based on its past experience with Hizbullah, the IDF is undoubtedly preparing for a response by the terror group. If such a response does take place, Israel will need to act with discretion in order not to set off the entire region,” he added.

Kuntar was killed in an Israeli air strike on Damascus, reports said Sunday. Kuntar, a top Hizbullah terrorist, infiltrated Israel by boat in April 1979 and kidnapped and executed in cold blood five Israelis, including a young father, Danny Haran, and his four-year-old daughter, Einat, Hy”d. Hizbullah on Sunday officially blamed Israel for Kuntar’s death, vowing revenge. According to Lebanese media, Kuntar was killed in an attack on a building that was hit by four missiles. Eight other people were killed in the strike, the report said.

The details of the murders, particularly that of Einat, were for years deemed to be too brutal to be discussed in the Israeli media. Kuntar was captured and tried, and sentenced to prison for life. He was released in 2008, however, in the deal to release the bodies of IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, and was given a royal welcome in Lebanon and Syria. Since then, Kuntar has returned to active duty in Hizbullah, and was said to be commander of Hizbullah forces on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights border.

Israeli political officials, as well as family members of his victims, praised the elimination of Kuntar. Zionist Camp MK Shelly Yechimovich said on Israel Radio that “if the reports are true, I congratulate our security forces for their action. Kuntar was a monster who since his release from prison in Israel has continued to operate as a terrorist. His elimination rights a historical wrong.” Party head Yitzchak Herzog said that Kuntar “was a terrorist who not for one day of his life left the path of terrorism and murder. The region is safer without him in it.”

Smadar Haran, whose husband Danny was murdered by Kuntar, called the elimination of the terrorist “historic justice. There is a judge and there is a judgment. We waited a long time for this chapter to be completed.” Yoram Shachar, brother of Eliyahu Shachar, an Israeli police officer who was killed by Kuntar, said that the news of his death “is a holiday for our family. We were hopeful he would not last too long after Israel released him.”