'Iran's use of Kuntar made Israel kill him'

Security expert reveals arch-terrorist killed in airstrike was part of Iranian efforts to smuggle terror into Israel, and create 'Gaza II.'

Shimon Cohen ,

Samir Kuntar
Samir Kuntar

Dr. Eran Lerman, who up until two months ago served as deputy head of the National Security Council, spoke with Arutz Sheva on Monday about the apparent IAF assassination of Hezbollah commander Samir Kuntar in a Damascus airstrike on Saturday night.

Lerman, who currently lectures at Shalem College in Jerusalem, said the assassination provides a "response," adding, "there's every reason in the world that this vile person receive his punishment, but that isn't the reason for the action."

"The reason for the operation is that the Iranians and their allies use this person (Kuntar)...in order to create among the Druze population and additional sources in the Syrian Golan Heights a base of influence and terror, in service of the Iranian interests, and this situation obligates Israel into response actions."

Kuntar, who was buried on Monday, is notorious for the 1979 murder of three Israelis, including 31-year-old Danny Haran, and Haran's four-year-old daughter who he beat to death with his rifle butt. The girl's two-year-old sister was accidentally smothered to death by their terrified mother as she stifled her cries to prevent them from being discovered.

According to reports, the Iran-proxy Hezbollah terrorist was planning a major attack on the Golan Heights before his assassination.

"The intention of the Iranians, more than of the Syrian regime, is to turn the Golan Heights into a strategic potential base for direct action against Israel, and also (to create) a lack of stability in Jordan, so as to be able to influence events across the Jordan River in Judea and Samaria," said Lerman.

According to the researcher Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali "Khamenei's order is to turn the '(West) Bank' into a second Gaza, and to do so they are creating a base for actions on the other side of the (Jordan) River, and therefore there is strategic significance for us regarding all that occurs on the Golan Heights, and any first sign of a stronghold by Iranian or pro-Iranian sources in this front requires a response."

Chopping hands

When asked about the nature of the Iranian actions to foster Arab terror inside Israel, Lerman said, "in our system in the intelligence community they speak about terror infrastructures. This is an organizing of people for the goal of producing operational activists, to prepare the ability to plan terror attacks, and to provide weapons and intelligence abilities in this front."

"Israel has a lot of experience in chopping off these hands even before they're outstretched," he said of the Iranian attempts to conduct terrorism from within the Jewish state.

When asked if there is any diplomatic interface with regional players and European leaders, Lerman said, "we don't need to announce to anyone in advance, but sometimes we need to provide explanations and context after the act."

"I think that in the case of Kuntar, there is no one who doesn't understand why we need to act against people of this sort."

Kuntar was released by Israel after serving nearly 30 years of a multiple-life sentence in a 2008 prisoner swap with Hezbollah, and was immediately feted as a hero by the Shia Islamist terror group and appointed one of its commanders.

A missile ploy to topple Hezbollah?

Regarding tensions on the Lebanese border, Lerman noted how Palestinian Arab terror groups in Lebanon on Sunday night fired across three rockets into Israel.

He noted that the rockets were possibly fired by members of the now defunct Palestine Liberation Front, the group Kuntar was acting as a member of when he committed his horrific murders, who sent the missiles as a volley "for his memory."

"And then there's a more interesting option, that these are sources who are interested in dragging Hezbollah into a clash with us, Sunni sources who are interested in having us do their work in the war against Hezbollah - which has more than a few haters in Lebanon."

According to Lerman's estimation, the rocket fire on Sunday night will be the last of the barrage on Israel.

He said it was important to listen to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's speech at 8:30 p.m. regarding Kuntar, "but Hezbollah has no interest and no ability to open a front with us when it is mired down in the Syrian battle grounds. Thousands of Hezbollah fighters are conducting battles in Syria for many long months against a firm enemy who wants to wipe them off the face of the earth."

"What can be anticipated for the Shi'ite population if Hezbollah is weakened and Daesh (Islamic State) forces extend their arm to Lebanon is very difficult, and therefore Hezbollah has no interest in being thrown down that road."