Samir Kuntar has been a rising star in the Arab Middle East since his release from an Israeli prison in 2008 as part of a prisoner exchange between the Jewish state and Lebanon’s Hizballah terrorist militia. On Monday, Kuntar was the honored guest of Syrian leader Bashar Assad at the presidential palace in Damascus.
During their time together, Kuntar gave Assad an advanced copy of his book “My Story” detailing his decades in Israeli prisons. The two discussed the ongoing Arab conflict with Israel and stressed that “the resistance mode of thinking (read: terrorism) as a basis for regaining Arab rights.”
That is quite fitting, considering the reason Kuntar spent so many years in jail and his current claim to fame amongst fellow Arab Muslims.
Kuntar is a celebrity because in 1979 he led a team of Palestinian terrorists in an amphibious infiltration of the Israeli coastal town of Nahariya. After landing on the beach, the terrorists executed an off-duty police officer and then entered a nearby home. That’s what the horror truly began.
Inside the house, Kuntar and his team found Danny Haran and his four-year-old daughter, Einat. Kuntar took the two down to the beach and executed Danny in front of his mortified little girl. Kuntar then personally bashed in the skull of little Einat with the butt of his rifle.
For this act and his subsequent years in an Israeli prison, Kuntar is celebrated across the Muslim world and welcomed as an honored guest by heads of state.
These are the kinds of people Israel is expected to make peace with.
Many Israeli still feel it was a grave mistake to set Kuntar free, as his celebrity treatment is likely to encourage many more Arab Muslims to follow in his footsteps.
Kuntar was released in 2008 as part of a swap that saw Israel send the arch-terrorist and the bodies of 199 Lebanese fighter to Beirut in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli reservists who had been abducted by Hizballah two years earlier.