On April 22, 1979, Samir Kuntar led a group of four who entered Israel from Lebanon by boat. Around midnight they arrived at the coastal town of Nahariya. The four murdered a policeman who came across them. The group then entered a high building, 61 Jabotinsky Street, where they parted into two groups. One group broke into the apartment of the Haran family before police reinforcements had arrived. The terrorists took 28 year old Danny Haran hostage along with his four-year-old daughter, Einat. The mother, Smadar Haran, was able to hide in a crawl space above the bedroom with her two-year-old daughter Yael, and a neighbor.After taking the hostages, Kuntar’s group took Danny and Einat down to the beach, where a shootout with Israeli policemen and soldiers erupted. Samir Kuntar shot the father, Danny, at close range in the back, in front of his daughter, and drowned him in the sea to ensure he was dead. Next, he smashed the head of Einat, the four-year-old girl, on beach rocks and crushed her skull with the butt of his rifle.Back in the crawl space, two-year-old Yael Haran was accidentally suffocated to death by her mother’s attempts to quiet her whimpering from revealing their hideout, so that they would not be found by Kuntar’s group.
by Itamar Marcus and Barbara Crook
According to the Palestinian Authority leadership, Samir Quntar epitomizes the ideal Palestinian prisoner. Quntar, who crushed the head of four-year-old Eynat Haran with his rifle, is serving four life sentences for murder in an Israeli prison, but is almost certain to be freed in a prisoner swap with Hizbullah this week.
On one hand, Quntar embodies what the PA considers the “heroism” of terrorists fighting Israel. On the other hand, he’s the ultimate symbol of all terrorist prisoners who have murdered Israelis and will eventually be freed as a result of future kidnappings or through some other means.
PA TV, controlled by Mahmoud Abbas, broadcast the following picture honoring Quntar. He is depicted beside a map of Israel completely covered by the Palestinian flag.[PATV, 23-25 June 2008]Following are several recent quotes from PA leaders since April 2008, describing Quntar:“Samir Quntar, the warrior from Lebanon.”
“The brave warrior, Samir Quntar.”
“The Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership are standing behind you (Quntar).”
“You (Quntar) are an inseparable part of the action to free our homeland.”
“Your (Quntar) patience and strength are a lesson for us.”
Besides bludgeoning Eynat Haran to death with rocks and his rifle, Quntar killed her father and was responsible for the death of her infant sister. He also killed two policemen in the 1979 attack in Naharia. The Israeli cabinet today approved a prisoner exchange that would free Quntar and several other prisoners in exchange for Israeli soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, who were kidnapped by Hizbullah in 2006. The exchange could happen within the next few days