Shaked welcomes death of 'arch-terrorist who killed young girl'

Without claiming Israeli credit for airstrike that killed Samir Kuntar, Justice Minister says it's a 'good thing he met his maker.'

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Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Israel's justice minister welcomed on Sunday the elimination of Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar but did not claim credit for the airstrike in Syria that killed him, which Hezbollah said was an Israeli raid.

The Israeli family of his victims, meanwhile, also said Sunday that "justice has been done."

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) told Army Radio that Israel "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 said. "It's a good thing he met his maker."

Kantar is notorious for the 1979 murder of three Israelis, including 31-year-old Danny Haran, and his four-year-old daughter.

He was freed by Israel as part of a prisoner swap in 2008, three decades after the murders, and he became a high-profile figure in the Lebanese Shiite terror group Hezbollah.

Hezbollah said he was killed on Saturday night in an Israeli air raid near the Syrian capital Damascus.

Israeli media have quoted military sources as saying Hezbollah had put him in charge of the Syrian part of the Golan Heights.

Former Israeli national security adviser Yaakov Amidror noted that Israel has said it will act against weapons transfers to Hezbollah as well as what it sees as preparations to attack the Jewish state.

Kantar "was very active in the north part of the Golan Heights in the Syrian side, responsible for preparing the area for attacks against Israel," he asserted. 

"And if he is neutralized by someone, it's good news for the state of Israel," Amidror, a senior fellow at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, told reporters.

Amidror said however he did not know whether Israel was responsible. Asked why Israel does not claim credit for such incidents, the security expert said it makes it less likely for the other side to retaliate.

AFP contributed to this report. 








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