Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad plans to honor child killer Samir Kuntar, who Israel released in a prisoner swap with Hizbullah for the bodies of IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev last year, AFP reported on Thursday.
Kuntar arrived in Iran on Wednesday and thanked Teheran for its role in backing the Lebanese and Palestinian "resistance" against Israel.
"This country has played a crucial role in supporting the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance and I am here to express my deepest gratitude to this country," Kuntar told AFP.
Kuntar said he wanted to meet Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei and "shake his hand."
Officials from Ahmadinejad's office said Kuntar would be honored by the president at an event in Teheran, AFP said.
Kuntar, a Lebanese Druse, was sentenced to four life sentences in 1979 for the deaths of Danny Haran, 28, his two daughters and a policeman in Nahariya.
A member of the Palestine Liberation Front, Kuntar and four others sailed 10 kilometers under the cover of night from south Lebanon to Nahariya in a 55-horse-power rubber boat. The mission, led by Kuntar and titled the Nasser Operation, brought the terrorists to the Nahariya coast around midnight on April 22, 1979.
The group murdered police officer Eliahu Shahar after he stumbled upon the gang. The men then entered an apartment building at Rehov Jabotinski 61 and broke into the Haran family's apartment, taking them hostage.
Kuntar's gang took Danny and four-year-old Einat Haran hostage as police reinforcements arrived on the scene.
Haran's wife, Smadar, hid with her two-year-old daughter Yael in a crawl space above the couple's bedroom. Smadar tried to muffle the girl's cries, and accidentally smothered her.
As officers arrived at the building, the terrorists pulled Danny and Einat out of the apartment building and down to the beach, where a shootout with police and soldiers ensued.
Kuntar shot Danny Haran at close-range and threw his body into the sea to make sure he died. He then bashed Einat's head on rocks and with butt of his rifle, killing her instantly.
Adam Kredo contributed to this report
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