Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed in a televised address Monday evening that his Lebanon-based Shiite terror group would respond to the killing of notorious operative Samir Kuntar, which it blamed on Israel.
“We reserve the right to respond to this assassination at the time and place of our choosing. We in Hezbollah will exercise that right,” he said in his address from Beirut.
Hezbollah has said Kuntar, who spent nearly three decades in an Israeli prison for his part in the brutal 1979 murders of a Nahariya family, was killed along with eight others in an overnight Saturday airstrike on a residential building in Jaramana, on the outskirts of the Syrian capital of Damascus.
Kuntar spent 29 years in an Israeli prison before being traded to Hezbollah in 2008 in exchange for the bodies of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. Following his release, he took on a senior role in the group, was honored by then-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and by Syrian President Bashar Assad, and helped to organize Syrian Druze on the Golan Heights and elsewhere into terror cells charged with carrying out attacks against Israel.