Photo Credit: Ofer Zidon / Flash 90
An F-16 fighter jet takes off from Ramat David air force base.

Lebanese Druze child-killer Samir Kuntar reportedly was killed in the alleged Israeli air strike carried out Wednesday morning near the Syrian Golan Heights village of Hader.

Five people died in the strike, including Kuntar and a second Hezbollah terrorist, along with three pro-regime “Popular Committee” fighters, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Israeli fighter jets allegedly targeted the group as their vehicle traveled in the outskirts of the Druze village of Hader. The air strike has not been confirmed by Israel, which has declined to confirm or deny reports of the attack.

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Last April media also reported that Israel had attacked targets in Syria, but it later became clear that Syrian opposition forces had carried out the attacks.

In January, Israel attacked a group of six Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters in Quneitra, a military source confirmed, saying they were “terrorists who intended to attack Israel.” Among the dead at that time was Hezbollah commander Jihad Mughniyeh, commander of the Syrian Golan sector where today’s attack was carried out. Mughniyeh was the son of the late Hezbollah international operations chief Imad Mughniyeh, assassinated February 12, 2008 in Damascus. Several Iranian troops were also killed in that attack, the semi-official Iranian Tabnak news site reported, including an Iranian commander.

Samir Kuntar Set Up Terror Network in Golan Heights
Samir Kuntar, who became a senior officer in the Hezbollah terror organization after his release from an Israeli prison in 2008, had set up a terror network on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights in recent months.

The former Druze member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) served nearly 30 years in an Israeli prison for leading an April 1979 terror attack on Nahariya. Kuntar was responsible for killing three members of the Haran family, including two small children and their father, plus an Israeli police officer. Almost 30 years later he was among five living and 199 dead terrorists swapped for the bodies of IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. The Israeli soldiers were abducted and killed by Hezbollah in a cross-border raid that ignited the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

In May of this year, a terrorist cell attempted to place an explosive charge along Israel’s border with Syria, up in the Golan Heights. Defense officials told reporters they believe the cell was headed by Kuntar, operating on instructions from Iran. Reportedly the cell was operating in retaliation for an air strike attributed to Israel destroyed weapons that were being handed over to Hezbollah by the Syrian regime. Sources said the defense establishment believes the cell was being instructed directly from Tehran, rather than via Hezbollah.

Kuntar’s No. 2 Was Golan Druze Villager
Kuntar’s second-in-command – Muwafaq Badiyeh – was assassinated on June 17 in an alleged car bombing on the road between Quneitra and Damascus. The Hezbollah-backed Al Akhbar newspaper blamed the attack on “Mossad agents.”

Badiyeh, like Kuntar, was a Druze and lived his entire life in Hader, and continued to live in the village until his death last month. The village is one of the few in the Syrian Golan Heights – other than Quneitra – that retains its loyalty to the regime.

Kuntar Was Inciting Israeli Druze in Golan Heights
Kuntar had been actively inciting Druze citizens in Israel as well as in Syria to violence in the Golan Heights, community leaders warned. Last month’s lynch by Israeli Druze of an IDF ambulance carrying wounded Syrians to a medical center for expert care was attributed by community leaders to incitement by Kuntar.

“The man … fueling the violent events here in Samir Kuntar,” the chairman of the Druze and Circassian local councils, Jabber Hamud said last month. “We’ve known this fo some time and I call on the heads of the defense establishment to do all that is necessary.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

41 COMMENTS

  1. ISRAEL AIR FORCES HAS DONE GOOD JOB. Israel State has right to defend its self. Otherhand, terrorists are devils stand bords, so that, I believe to attack & eridicate everywhere & anytime is possabile. Becouse of, prevention is better treatment. LONGLIFE ISRAEL,IDF & BINJAMIN NETANYAHU.

  2. When a war is over, the criminals are usually punished at the end of a rope. Serving 30 years in prison for these grisley murders did not change his attitude. He never should have been released alive. In this case, he got to take even more lives. But, I doubt, a lesson was learned.

  3. He was not killed sooner because the IDF waited for you to do the job! You instead prefered you coushy dental job and urging other to do the dangerouse job. Eventually the IDF realise you are all talk so they did the job!

  4. I would like to relate what happened on the night of April 22nd ,1979. I was an active member of the Civil Guard of Ma’a lot on patrol as the driver of the van patrol vehicle that fateful night. Around 11:45 PM Shabbatai Alon the commander of the Civil Guard in Maalot and I had gone to the Christian Arab village of Maaliyah on patrol to the Hila Lookout. We had stopped at the house of an old friend the commander an ex member of the Israeli Knesset Masaad Kassis to drink sweet black Arab coffee under his grape arbor outside. Leaving the door of the van open we listened in to the radio calls. We could clearly hear the voice of Eli Schahar (24) the young police officer from Maa’lot on the police radio answer the call for a disturbance. I can still hear his final scream on the radio “Micablim, neftsati’ and then silence. Commander Alon and I jumped into the van and raced off in the direction of the main road (*89) between Ma’a lot and Nahariyah. Just as we reached the summit we received a radio call to rush to Nahariyah.
    After killing Eliyahu Shachar the Terrorist group then entered an apartment building on 61 Jabotinsky Street planning to abduct two or three people and take them back to Lebanon. One of the PFLP men, Abdel Majeed Asslan, broke into the apartment of Charles Shapiro (34), a recent immigrant from South Africa, after the doors to his apartment had been shot up. Shapiro, who was armed with a 44 magnum revolver, shot through his apartment door at the terrorists standing outside killing Asslan.
    Kuntar and the two remaing terrorists Mhanna Salim al-Muayed, and Ahmed al-Abras ran downstairs where they encountered Moshe Sasson, a resident who was trying to reach the building's bomb shelter carrying his two young daughters, one under each arm. Kuntar shoved Sasson and slammed a handgun into the back of his skull. However, Sasson managed to escape when the hall lights suddenly went out, and hid under a parked car.
    The three remaining terrorists then broke into the apartment of the Haran family taking the 31 year-old Danny Haran hostage along with his four-year-old daughter, Einat. The mother, Smadar Haran, who had heard the gunfire was able to climb up and hide in a crawl space above the bedroom with her two-year-old daughter Yael, and a neighbor – Sasson's wife.Regretfully the hysterical Smadar Haran accidentally suffocated her baby girl Yael while attempting to quiet her whimpering, which would have revealed their hiding place.
    When we reached Nahariyah the terrorist had already taken Danny Haran and his young daughter to the beach and I remember seeing the actions described here according to a 1979 Israeli Maariv Newpaper which described details of this attack: After drowning Danny in the sea in front of little Einat (all this taking place as Ahmed Al-Brass, Mhanna Salim Al-Muayed, and Abdel Majeed Asslan stood and served as look outs and backup cover for Kuntar), Kuntar, then turned his attention towards the frightened little 4-year old. He took his rifle and then swung it across the little toddler's head, knocking her to the ground. As little Einat was knocked to the ground, she was screaming and crying hysterically "mommy daddy help me," while thrashing her little legs around in the sand. But unfortunately Einat was alone, and no one was there to save her. Kuntar then dragged the little toddler a couple of feet to the closest rock he could find, this was while she was begging him not to hurt her. Kuntar, then laid her head down on a rock, with the intention of crushing it with the butt of his rifle. Einat, instinctively covered her head with her little arms, Kuntar struggled with the little toddler until he finally managed to clear her arms out of the way so that he could aim for her head. Once her arms were out of the way, Kuntar proceeded on beating her on the head over and over with the butt of his rifle, and repeatedly stomping on her little body as hard as he could as well, until blood rushed out of her ears and mouth, and her little cries faded away as she was knocked into unconsciousness. Then, to ensure she was dead, Kuntar continued on beating her over the head, as hard as he could, several more times until her skull was crushed and she was dead.

    We could have killed him then and there but our officers protected him since he – Surrendered.
    What I remember was a fanatically wild eyed 17 year old filled with some astronomical hatred. When we captured him he defecated on himself and cried hysterically.

    Years later, while serving in reserves as the Chief Medic at the prison where Samir Kuntar was being held. I remember the new hero of the Palestinians and Hezbollah as being overweight, suffering from hyperuricema, diabetes mellitus, dyspnea and severe water retention from his hypertension.

  5. The ability of the IAF to carry out strikes against individuals using fast jets designed for large scale all out war, is unprecedented! Obviously, these would have the advantage of speed over unmanned drones operating in a lower threat environment. Amazing! God bless Israel and the IAF!

  6. I was 31 when I read of that woman who lost her children and husband those many years ago. Your article doesn't mention her baby who died that day too –as she, in hiding, tried to stifle his asthmatic breathing so the terrorists wouldn't find them, and she, in doing so, accidently suffocated him. ): I had no concept of Israel, just very vague, back then, but my heart broke for her, as she made her statement of bravery in the face of her grievous loss –that she was not going to fold up & die, but would stand, not letting the enemy have the victory over her! It was during the war with Lebanon in the summer of 2006 that the reality of it all burst upon me and I began scrambling frantically, to "catch up" on researching the history of Israel. I remember too, having that sad story brought to mind again when that murderer was set free in the exchange for the Israeli soldiers, whom it had not been known for sure that they were dead already. ): I had not heard Samir Kuntar had been back to "business" all this time since then. Such anguish, all throughout Israel, day by day by day! My heart is full of it, for you all, so much of the time! ):

  7. Mr. Yakov, sir, may God give you peace, way down in the deepest depths of your soul. Your account is far more in depth than when I read of it several decades ago, though even then, it tore at my heart, and has resided there as a sadness. Some day I would be grateful to find out how the mother has done, all these years. ):

  8. must be all Israelis which is why I keep my Israeli passport current,and why my entire family live in a kibbutz right on the gaza strip, next to the Hamas tunnels. yes ,it must be that. I also do not hold much of name calling "know it alls "like you who's argument is always "you must hate!…" I'll let you carry the "hate" bag all by youself…

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