Hezbollah will be celebrating the release of Samir Kuntar, who will be swapped, along with four other Lebanese prisoners, in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, whose uncertain fates had tormented Israel and Jews around the world.
While Israelis will be in mourning for the two of soldiers they have lost, Hezbollah is expected to give Kuntar a hero’s welcome.
What did this man do to win Hezbollah’s affections?
The New York Times reports:
Mr. Kuntar was part of a cell that in 1979 raided the northern Israeli town of Nahariya, shooting dead Danny Haran while his daughter Einat, 4, watched, then smashing the girl’s head, killing her as well. Mr. Haran’s wife, Smadar, hid with their 2-year-old daughter and accidentally suffocated her to death in an effort to stop her from crying out. Mr. Kuntar has said he regrets nothing…
UPDATE: Some background: Smadar Haran Kaiser, whose family was murdered by Kuntar, had issued a statement expressing hope to government ministers that her “personal pain will not interfere with your dilemma and your decision regarding the prisoner exchange deal.” (Back in 2003, she wrote a heart-rending article for The Washington Post that recounted her ordeal.) Danny Haran’s brother, however, said that Kuntar must not be freed.