Kuntar urges Palestinians to capture Israeli soldiers

Former prisoner, freed in 2008 swap for soldiers' bodies, says Schalit deal proves resistance only way to liberate Palestinians jailed in Israel.

October 19, 2011 15:05
1 minute read.
Samir Kuntar [file]

Samir Kuntar 311. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Convicted terrorist Samir Kuntar on Wednesday urged Palestinians to capture more Israeli soldiers in order to secure the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails, the Ma'an News Agency reported.

Kuntar, sentenced to four life sentences in 1980 for participating in a terror attack that killed four Israelis, was freed in 2008 in a swap for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers.

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The former PLO member, speaking from Lebanon, stated that the deal to release Gilad Schalit in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners proves that armed resistance is the only way to liberate Palestinians jailed in Israel.

On April 22, 1979, at the age of 16, Kuntar participated in the attempted kidnapping of an Israeli family in Nahariya that resulted in the deaths of four Israelis and two of his fellow kidnappers.

Kuntar was convicted in an Israeli court for murder of policeman Eliyahu Shahar, Danny Haran, and Haran’s four-year-old daughter, Einat, smashing her head against a rock and then against his rifle. He was also convicted of indirectly causing the death of two-year-old Yael Haran by suffocation, as her mother, Smadar, tried to quiet her while hiding from Kuntar.

Released in a 2008 swap for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, Kuntar remains a reviled figure in Israel, a reminder of one of the most brutal acts of terrorism in the country's history.

He was given a hero’s welcome by Hezbollah on his return to Lebanon, and in the years since has emerged as one of the movement’s most visible and popular spokesmen.

Oren Kessler contributed to this report.

Click for full JPost coverage on Gilad Schalit

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