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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Entire Lebanon war precipitated by attempt to free Samir Kuntar

The Washington Times is reporting this morning that the entire Lebanon war was precipitated by a kidnap operation that was designed to do no more and no less than to free Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar, who has been held in an Israeli prison since 1979.
Hezbollah leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah had publicly announced his intention three years ago of doing whatever necessary, including capturing Israeli soldiers as bargaining chips, to free Samir Kuntar, who has been held prisoner in Israel for 27 years. Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers last month touched off the current conflict.

In 1979, Kuntar, then 16, was among four terrorists who reached the northern Israeli town of Nahariya, six miles from the Lebanese border, in the pre-dawn hours by rubber boat. They killed a policeman who came upon them and they entered an apartment building close to the shore.


The terrorists took Mr. Haran and Einat back to the beach as hostages. In an ensuing shootout with police, two of the infiltrators and another policeman were killed. Kuntar shot Mr. Haran in front of his daughter, then crushed the girl's skull with his rifle butt before being taken prisoner with the other remaining terrorist. Back in the apartment, Mrs. Haran discovered that she had suffocated her youngest daughter, resulting in her death.

Kuntar was tried and sentenced to four terms of life imprisonment. The other terrorist was also sentenced to life but he was freed in 1986 as part of a deal involving the return of three captured Israeli soldiers. Israel refused to include Kuntar in that package and in subsequent prisoner exchanges.


Kuntar became a symbol in Lebanon as the longest-serving prisoner held by Israel. His family appealed to Sheik Nasrallah to obtain his release.

Six years ago, Hezbollah fighters attacked an Israeli patrol vehicle on a disputed part of the border and brought three severely wounded soldiers into Lebanon, where they died. Sheik Nasrallah succeeded three years later in exchanging their remains, together with an Israeli businessman who had been seized, for more than 400 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners.

Israel had agreed to release Kuntar as well, but only in exchange for information on the fate of an Israeli air force navigator [Ron Arad. CiJ] who had been shot down and captured alive in Lebanon in 1986. No such information was handed over, and Kuntar remained in Israeli custody.

It was then that Sheik Nasrallah, who has always prided himself on keeping his word, warned he would capture more Israeli soldiers in order to win Kuntar's release. Hezbollah made a bid to capture Israeli soldiers earlier this year at another point on the border, but the attempt ended with several dead Hezbollah men and no Israeli casualties.

Last month, with the capture of the two soldiers, a smiling Sheik Nasrallah appeared on TV to announce that he had kept his word -- apparently triggering the present conflict that has claimed more than 1,000 Lebanese and almost 100 Israeli lives.
More details on Samir Al-Kuntar and his heinous terror attack here.


At 3:47 PM, Blogger Neurodoc said...

Need it be necessary to say that the release of Kuntar and other terrorists would likely lead to more than the 100 dead Israel has already suffered, due to future terrorist attacks they would perpetrate


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