The report alleges European officials warned Lebanon’s Shiite Islamic group of Israel’s intent to respond heavily on Hezbollah, in Lebanon & in Syria, if attacked.
According to the report, a European official said that foreign officials had warned Hezbollah that Israel appeared prepared to deal heavy blows to the group in both Lebanon and Syria if the Jewish state was to come under attack.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Monday declared that there was “no doubt” that Israel was behind the strike that killed Kuntar and accused Israel of firing guided missiles at the building in which the top commander lived, also killing eight additional people.
Israel has not acknowledged responsibility for killing Kuntar. Fighters claiming to be from the Free Syrian Army uploaded a video on YouTube Monday, in which they claimed that they were responsible for the assassination of Samir Kuntar and his bodyguards.
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Farmers and residents in the Israel’s north were ordered earlier this week by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to avoid work or travel near the border fence with Lebanon. “There is an absolute ban on movement along the security axis,” the IDF announced Monday.
The warning came amid concerns that Hezbollah would retaliate against Israel for the alleged airstrike in which terrorist Kuntar was killed. The Israeli army believes that citizens could be targeted by sniper fire from across the border.
Soldiers stationed along the Israel-Lebanon border were also been instructed to wear helmets and bulletproof vests.
Speaking in a televised address earlier in the week, Nasrallah vowed revenge, saying that “we reserve the right to respond to this assassination at the time and place of our choosing. We in Hezbollah will exercise that right.”
On Sunday, the day following Kuntar’s death, three rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command in Lebanon claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.
Lebanese media reported that one rocket was fired from al-Hinniyeh near the village of Sur and two others were fired from Tal al-Maaliyeh in southern Lebanon.
The IDF responded to the rocket fire with artillery strikes against targets in southern Lebanon, the army said.
Kuntar spent 29 years in Israeli custody over his role in the brutal slaying of four Israelis as part of a group which carried out a terror raid from Lebanon in 1979 on the northern Israeli town of Nahariya.
Kuntar killed Danny Haran before killing Haran’s four-year-old daughter Einat by smashing her head with the butt of his rifle. Einat’s mother, Smadar, accidentally smothered her two-year-old daughter Yael while trying to keep her quiet as they hid from the terrorists. The group of attackers also killed policeman Eliyahu Shahar.
Kuntar was released in 2008 as part of a prisoner swap with the Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah group for the bodies of IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.
International diplomats have been in close contact with Lebanese officials in an bid to prevent Lebanese militant group Hezbollah carrying out a revenge attack against Israel after the killing of Samir Kuntar, one of its top commanders in Damascus, Kuwaiti daily Al Qabas reported Saturday.
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