Lebanese Hezbollah militant leader Samir Qantar was killed in an Israeli strike that hit a building in district of Jaramana in Damascus in the early hours on Sunday, according to a press release issued by Hezbollah on Sunday.
“The aircrafts of the Zionist enemy conducted an air strike on a building in the district of Jaramana in Damascus which led to the martyrdom of the leading Lebanese freed captive, brother Samir Qantar, and a number of Syrian civilians”, the statement released by Hezbollah read.
An Israeli cabinet minister spoke of the death of Qantar on Sunday but did not confirm allegations that Israel was responsible, reported Reuters.
Lebanese Brigadier Hesham Gaber told Daily News Egypt that this operation targeted Qantar after he had been monitored.
“Qantar is a target for Israel and a very important one,” Gaber said. He believes the death of Farhan Al Sha’alan, a leader in a pro-Syrian regime militia, in the same strike is proof that this operation was planned by Israel.
It is still unknown whether a drone or a fighter jet conducted the raid. Gaber believes that the precision of the strike suggests the use of a drone. “I believe that Israel would not use a fighter jet since they had to consult with Russia, so what most likely happened is the use of a drone to hit a determined target,” he said.
Regarding the reaction of Hezbollah, Gaber said he is sure that there will be a response but he excluded the suggestion that Hezbollah would violate UN resolution number 1701 that called for a ceasefire between Hezbollah and Israel in 2006.
Qantar was imprisoned in Israel for a 1979 attack in Nahariya and was released as part of the deal Israel negotiated for the bodies of Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev in July 2008.
After his release, he was believed to be one of Hezbollah leaders.