Hezbollah leader says group will strike back at Israel

Israeli forces on Golan Heights near Syrian border

BEIRUT (AP) — Amid shouts of “death to Israel,” thousands of Hezbollah supporters on Monday thronged the coffin of a high-profile Lebanese militant who the group says was killed by an Israeli airstrike near the Syrian capital.

The group’s leader pledged to strike back at the Jewish state, but refrained from making any fiery threats during a speech addressing the assassination.

Hezbollah said Samir Kantar, who spent 30 years in an Israeli prison after being convicted of the 1979 murders of an Israeli policeman along with a father and his 4-year-old daughter, was killed Saturday along with eight others in the airstrike on a residential building in Jaramana.

Hezbollah officials had pledged to avenge his killing, sparking fears of escalation in a volatile region.

Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, in a televised speech Monday evening, said the group will exact revenge but did not make any specific threats.