Samir Kantar
Kantar, born in 1962, was hated in Israel for an attack in 1979 that killed four people  POOL New/Reuters

Lebanese militant leader Samir Kantar has been killed in Israeli air strikes that targeted a building in the Damascus district of Jaramana, a stronghold of supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Kantar's brother confirmed the death on social media. Al-Manar TV, the official channel of Hezbollah, said at least eight other people were killed in the air strikes.

"His body has been sent to a Damascus hospital moments ago," the National Defence Forces (NDF) in Jaramana, which are part of a nationwide grouping of Assad loyalists, said on 20 December in the morning. "Two Israeli warplanes carried out the raid which targeted the building in Jaramana and struck the designated place with four long-range missiles," the NDF in Jaramana said on its Facebook page.

Israeli authorities have not confirmed the air strike.

Kantar was born in 1962 and was a hated figure in Israel for the 1979 attack that killed four people. He was subsequently arrested in the country but was released in 2008 as part of a prisoner swap with Hezbollah, after which he reportedly joined the group, but maintained a low profile.

Hailing from the Druze people, Kantar was recruiting Syrian Druze for the NDF, a paramilitary group. However, it is not known as to what role Kantar played in the fighting in Syria.

Israel has carried out numerous attacks in Syria destroying weaponry that it believes was destined for its foe Hezbollah in Lebanon. In January, six members of Hezbollah were killed in Israeli air strikes. The son of the Hezbollah's late military leader Imad Moughniyah was also killed in an aerial attack.