Neither the IDF nor Hezbollah has confirmed Israeli responsibility for the death of a ruthless Hezbollah terrorist, as reported by Lebanese media.
Hezbollah senior commander Mustafa Amine Badreddine was reportedly killed in an IDF military operation overnight Thursday, according to Lebanese TV station al-Mayadeen.
Israel did not confirm the hit. “We decline to comment,” and IDF spokeswoman said.
Badreddine “took part in most of the operations of the Islamic resistance since 1982,” Hezbollah said in a statement announcing his death, adding that the organization was working to “define the nature of the explosion and its cause.” There was no mention of direct Israeli responsibility.
Badreddine – the highest-ranking official in the Shi’ite paramilitary group behind the Lebanese-based terror organization’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah – moved to the second most powerful position within the Shi’ite Islamic group after his brother-in-law, Hezbollah military commander Imad Moughniyah, was killed in 2008.
“The commander’s reputation as a ruthless killer and tactician in the Arab world is legendary. In 1984, the Kuwaiti government sentenced him to death after implicating him in a number of deadly bombings, which targeted the American and French embassies and the airport, according to Internet publication The Daily Beast,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
“Prosecutors for the International Criminal Court have accused Badreddine of committing numerous war crimes, alleging in a 2011 report that he, along with a small contingent of collaborators, was behind the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri,” the Post continued.
In 2012, The US Treasury Department placed Badreddine on the list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
“For years, Badreddine masterminded military operations against Israel from Lebanon and overseas and managed to escape capture by Arab and Western governments by operating clandestinely,” the Post reported.
“There are few official records in Lebanon relating to Mustafa Badreddine… He has never been issued a passport. He has never been issued a driver’s license. He is not the registered owner of any property in Lebanon,” a prosecutor for the ICC wrote in a 2011 indictment.
Hezbollah fighters, backed by Iran militarily and financially, are supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Last year, Israel assassinated notorious Hezbollah terrorist Samir Kuntar in Syria.
By: United with Israel Staff
(With files from The Jerusalem Post)