Hezbollah leader killed in Damascus strike

Israeli warplanes killed Samir Qantar, a Hezbollah leader on Saturday in Damascus. Qantar’s death  was reported by the Lebanese group and the Syrian state media on Sunday.

Israel has not confirmed responsibility for the strike, although welcomed Qantar’s death. Israeli Housing and Construction minister Yoav Gallant said, “It is good that people like Samir Qantar will not be part of our world.”

Supporters of President Assad

Israel claim he was preparing attack on them from inside Syria. Hezbollah support the regime of Syrian President Assad, from which they receive political support. Formally Israel does not bomb targets of the Syrian civil war, but it has previously bombed Hezbollah targets without any public acknowledgement.

Hezbollah is a Iranian backed Shi’ite Muslim group. Based in Lebanon, it is also a political party. It was formed in 1985, mainly as a response to the Israeli invasion in 1982. The leader of Hezbollah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is due to speak on Monday, with supporters of Syrian President Assad and Hezbollah supporters claimed Qantar’s death will be avenged.

Dangerous state terrorism

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari said “Such acts of the Zionist regime (referring to Israel) which have become a consistent method, are the most dangerous forms of state terrorism.”

Qantar was jailed in ISrael in 1979 for a raid that killed four people. He was allowed back to Lebanon after a prisoner swap with Hezbollah in 2008. It is thought he joined the group after this.

Israel previously killed six Hezbollah members in January near the Golan Heights during air strikes.