Israeli minister says ''no civilized person can be sorry'' over the death of militant leader Samir Qantar but stops short of confirming responsibility for his death. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
A broken open building in the Jarmana neighborhood of Damascus. Nearby residents speak of explosions overnight. Now, there are reports that Lebanese Hezballah militant leader Samir Qantar was killed in an Israel airstrike. A resident in a near by building heard it all happen. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT OF NEIGHBORING BUILDING, OSAMA HINNAWI, SAYING: "The front part of the building was totally destroyed. National Defense Forces and ambulances ran to the place. Thank God it is only a material loss but martyr Samir Qantar seemed to be targeted." Israel welcomed his death, saying he had been preparing attacks on it from Syrian soil, but stopped short of confirming responsibility for the strike that killed him. Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz offered no official confirmation. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ISRAELI ENERGY MINISTER, YUVAL STEINITZ, SAYING: "So if something happens to him I think that no civilized person can be sorry. But, again, I learned it from reports in the international media and I can make no concrete reference to it." Israel released Qantar in 2008 as part of a prisoner swap with Iranian-backed Hezbollah. He is since believed to have joined the group, which has sent hundreds of its members to fight alongside forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Qantar was jailed in Israel for his part in a 1979 attack that killed four people, including a girl he was convicted of bludgeoning.