MK Omer Bar-Lev spoke at a Be'er Sheva event today (Saturday) and stated that Israel stands behind its targeted strike on Samir Kuntar in Damascus about two months ago, Channel 2 reports.
Until now, Israel has refused to officially comment on its role in the incident. During a 1979 terror attack, Kuntar and his comrades murdered a police officer, then a father and his four-year-old daughter. He was soon arrested and remained in prison until 2008, when he was released as part of a prisoner swap.
In response to a question on Hezbollah head Hassan Nasrallah's recent public appearance and the issue of deterrence in the north, Bar-Lev said, "I would not advise Nasrallah to leave his bunker. Why? Because he is an enemy, he is a target. He needs to be a target and so on a personal level I would advise him to continue protecting himself."
When the interviewer, Roi Katz, asked if Nasrallah would be attacked "at the first opportunity available, just like Samir Kuntar," Bar-Lev tried to avoid the issue. "I certainly wouldn't go into the operational details." A few seconds later Katz described the killing of Kuntar as "Israel's great success," and Bar-Lev responded: "Yes, definitely."
MK Bar-Lev, a former commander of Sayeret Matkal and current member of the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, concluded by saying: "Israel certainly has a long memory. Back when I was a young officer, I was called up to the attack in Nahariya in which Kuntar and others murdered members of the Haran family. So my memory is also long and we'll leave it at that. This is certainly a message to Nasrallah."
After his comments on Kuntar's killing were published, MK Bar-Lev asked to clarify that "When I was asked if it was an Israeli action I said that I would not go into the operational details. Every elimination and every terrorist killed is welcome, and it doesn't matter if it we had a hand in it or not."