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Hezbollah buries Samir Kantar vowing revenge

Hezbollah leader says he has 'no doubt' Israel is responsible for death of senior member in Syria
Kantar was buried after a procession through southern Beirut (AFP)

Hezbollah has said it will hold Israel accountable as one of its leading fighters, Samir Kantar, was buried in Beirut after being killed in a suspected Israeli air strike in Syria.

"I have no doubt that Israel is responsible for the assassination of Kuntar," Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said during a television address on Monday evening.

"We reserve the right to respond to this assassination at the time and place of our choosing. We in Hezbollah will exercise that right," he said.

Nasrallah rejected reports that Syrian opposition fighters were responsible for Kantar's killing, saying that Israeli planes had "fired precision-guided missiles on a multi-story apartment building".

Earlier in the day at Kantar's funeral, senior Hezbollah official Hashem Safeieddine also said the group would seek revenge.

"If the Israelis think by killing Samir Kantar they have closed an account then they are very mistaken because they know and will come to know that they have instead opened several more," said Safeieddine.

Thousands of people flooded the streets of the Hezbollah stronghold of Dahia in south Beirut to pay tribute to Kantar on Monday. 

Marches also took place in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. 

Kantar was killed in an airstrike on Sunday near the Syria capital, Damascus.

Israeli Construction and Housing Minister Yoav Gallant told Israel Radio that he was “not confirming or denying anything” but said he welcomed Kantar's death.

"It is good that people like Samir Kantar will not be part of our world,” he said.

Kantar was convicted of killing three Israelis, including a four-year-old girl, in an attack on an apartment block in Nahariya in north Israel in 1979.

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

In September, the US placed Kantar on its terrorism blacklist, saying he had "played an operational role, with the assistance of Iran and Syria, in building up Hezbollah's terrorist infrastructure in the Golan Heights".

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