Kuntar: I won't rest until Israel destroyed
In AFP interview, recently released child-killer says, "Israelis didn't manage to break me."
Three months after being released from an Israeli jail in a prisoner swap, Lebanese terrorist and child-killer Samir Kuntar said he was more than ever committed to working to wipe the Jewish state off the map, AFP reported on Thursday.
"As long as there is something called Israel in this region, the resistance must continue ... and I am totally committed to the resistance," Kuntar, 46, told AFP. "I am ready to take part in any resistance mission."
Described as a monster in Israel where he was convicted for killing Danny Haran, his four-year-old daughter Einat and an Israeli policeman in a notorious attack in Nahariya nearly three decades ago, Kuntar is considered a hero by many in Lebanon, where he was given a red carpet welcome upon his release in July.
He said he now spends his time mostly in meetings related to Hizbullah activity and was convinced that Israel was preparing a major attack against Lebanon.
"They don't realize what we have in store for them," he said, sitting in a seaside apartment on the outskirts of Beirut filled with medals, honorary plaques and pictures of Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah, a man he says he idolizes.
"Israel is going to suffer great losses and they will lose for sure," he added. "The idea that Israel is an invincible, secure state has become a myth."
He said that even if Israel withdrew from the contested Shabaa Farms territory in south Lebanon captured in the Six Day War, Hizbullah would continue with its struggle to eliminate the Jewish state.
"The resistance will end only when the Zionist entity disappears," he vowed.
Recalling the cross-border raid that landed him in an Israeli jail in 1979, when he was just 16 years old and part of the Palestine Liberation Front, Kuntar said he had no regrets and denied killing Haran and his daughter.
"I remember every detail of that night," he said calmly, pulling on a cigarette. "The father kept insisting on taking his daughter with him and that delayed the operation for about 10 minutes.
"He refused to leave her behind and clutched on to her. He was like a madman," he added. "We were not interested in the girl."
He said both were killed by Israeli fire during a fierce battle that took place as Kuntar and his fellow terrorists tried to flee with the two Israeli hostages.
But according to forensic evidence and witness testimony during his trial, Kuntar and his co-terrorists killed Haran and then crushed the girl's skull with rifle butts.
"I just wish they would give as much importance to the children killed during the 2006 war with Israel and the Palestinian children dying every day," he told AFP.
Israeli security officials have vowed to hunt him down for his crime, but Kuntar said he was not especially concerned for his safety and realized he could never lead a "normal life" though he hoped to one day marry and have children.
He also brushed aside persistent rumors that he may stand in next year's parliamentary elections in Lebanon.
"I don't live with the obsession that I may get killed," he said, adding that he nonetheless had a security detail and took precautions.
As to his most searing memory of the time he spent in Israeli jails, Kuntar said it concerned a prison guard who spoke to him in Arabic.
"He told me 'listen Samir, you are a young man now but by the time you get out you will have become a burden on society,'" Kuntar said.
"I guess my message to the Israelis today is that they didn't manage to break me."