The New York Times reports on the burial of the two Israeli soldiers whose remains were exchanged by Hezbollah in return for the release of five terrorists, very much alive. The terrorists include Samir Kuntar. The Times does not have much to say about Kuntar other than that he was “convicted in connection with a deadly and notorious attack[.]“ So perhaps some context is in order. In 2003, Smadar Haran Kaiser wrote in the Washington Post about the terrorists who killed her family on April 22, 1979:
Kuntar’s name is all but unknown to the world. But I know it well. Because almost a quarter of a century ago, Kuntar murdered my family. It was a murder of unimaginable cruelty[.]
It had been a peaceful Sabbath day. My husband, Danny, and I had picnicked with our little girls, Einat, 4, and Yael, 2, on the beach not far from our home in Nahariya, a city on the northern coast of Israel, about six miles south of the Lebanese border. Around midnight, we were asleep in our apartment when four terrorists, sent by Abu Abbas from Lebanon, landed in a rubber boat on the beach two blocks away. Gunfire and exploding grenades awakened us as the terrorists burst into our building. They had already killed a police officer. As they charged up to the floor above ours, I opened the door to our apartment. In the moment before the hall light went off, they turned and saw me. As they moved on, our neighbor from the upper floor came running down the stairs. I grabbed her and pushed her inside our apartment and slammed the door.
Outside, we could hear the men storming about. Desperately, we sought to hide. Danny helped our neighbor climb into a crawl space above our bedroom; I went in behind her with Yael in my arms. Then Danny grabbed Einat and was dashing out the front door to take refuge in an underground shelter when the terrorists came crashing into our flat. They held Danny and Einat while they searched for me and Yael, knowing there were more people in the apartment. I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. “This is just like what happened to my mother,” I thought.
As police began to arrive, the terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach. There, according to eyewitnesses, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl’s skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar.
By the time we were rescued from the crawl space, hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives, I had smothered her.
The next day, Abu Abbas announced from Beirut that the terrorist attack in Nahariya had been carried out “to protest the signing of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty” at Camp David the previous year.
ME: What can you say about a barbaric jihadist who makes sure the sight of her father being murdered is the last one a terrified four-year-old child sees before he crushes her skull against a rock? Well, those peace-loving Palestinians Secretary of State Rice is so keen on said, you are our hero and we reward you with citizenship. As the Israeli press reported last month:
Various organizations in the Palestinian Authority responded with applause to the announcement of granting honorary citizenship to the two terrorists.
“The ‘Friends of the Prisoners’ organization sees the decision, of the present government, to award Palestinian citizenship to two Arab prisoners – Samir Quntar from Lebanon and Sultan Al-Ajaluni from Jordan – an act of Palestinian national obligation and in dedication to the honored history that the Arab prisoners have provided to the Palestinian issue.”
[Al-Quds newspaper, Mar. 7, 2006]
“The Palestinian Liberation Front, through general secretariat member, Dr. Wasil Abu Yusuf, praised the government’s decision… to award the imprisoned fighters Samir Quntar and Sultan Al-Ajaluni honorary citizenship as an act of dedication to their struggle and their heroic suffering in the occupation’s prisons.
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 8, 2006]
“The Palestinian Popular Committees expressed their appreciation for the government’s decision to award the two imprisoned fighters, Samir Quntar and Sultan Al-Ajaluni, honorary citizenship and Palestinian citizenship as an act of dedication to their struggle and their heroic sufferings in the occupation’s prisons.
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 9, 2006]
… Documented evidence shows that PA TV and PA leaders have long seen Quntar as a hero. His picture is repeatedly shown on TV, and he was proclaimed the “model warrior,” “brave,” and a “leader” and “head” of the prisoners.
In an August 15th, 2004 TV broadcast, PA Minister of Prisoners, Hisham Abdul Razeq, defined Quntar as the leader of the prisoners: “The torch of freedom [that] was lifted by our heroic prisoners and headed by the great warrior Samir Quntar… our thanks to you.
On August 24th of the same year, prominent PA TV broadcaster Muhammad Albaz told his audience: “A thousand blessings to the warrior Samir Quntar [the audience claps] and to his family in Lebanon and to this hero who was sentenced to 576 years [in prison]. This is the evil, and this is Israeli democracy.
On August 18th, 2004, PA TV termed the murder of the father and girl as an act of bravery: “He was sentenced to 542 years in prison for committing the brave Nahariya action in Palestine [note-Israel city of Nahariya is defined as Palestine.]
On the same day, Arab demonstrators supporting a prisoner hunger strike singled out Quntar as a model to be followed: “We bless the family members of Samir Quntar, we are with you. He is your son but he is also our son, the son of Palestine. We ask of Allah, that there will be 100 more Samir Quntars, 1,000 more Samir Quntars, 1,000,000 more Samir Quntars, that do and act for the Palestinian issue.” The speech was broadcast on PA TV.