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Smadar Haran, whose family Kuntar killed, hails ‘justice’

Terror victims’ relatives praise alleged assassination by Israel of Lebanese killer; MKs welcome his death, but don’t credit Israel

82-year-old Nina Keren, mother of Danny Haran and grandmother of Einat who were killed by Samir Kuntar when he broke into their Nahariya home in 1982 and shot them, holds a picture of her son and her granddaughter on July 15, 2008. ( Kobi Gideon / FLASH90)
82-year-old Nina Keren, mother of Danny Haran and grandmother of Einat who were killed by Samir Kuntar when he broke into their Nahariya home in 1982 and shot them, holds a picture of her son and her granddaughter on July 15, 2008. ( Kobi Gideon / FLASH90)

The widow and bereaved mother of Israeli victims brutally killed by Samir Kuntar hailed Sunday the alleged Israeli assassination of the Hezbollah operative as “historic justice.”

Meanwhile, Israeli lawmakers praised the killing of Kuntar in Damascus along with eight others, which was confirmed by Hezbollah, but stopped short of confirming the airstrike was carried out by the Israeli Air Force.

A Lebanese Druze, Kuntar became infamous for a brutal 1979 raid from Lebanon in which he and several accomplices kidnapped an Israeli family from Nahariya, then smashed the head of a four-year-old Israeli girl, Einat Haran, with his rifle butt and stones, killing her.

Three other Israelis, including her father, Danny Haran, were killed in the attack. Kuntar was 16 at the time, and a member of the Palestine Liberation Front.

Smadar Haran, the mother and grandmother of Samir Kuntar's victims during a 1979 terror attack, speaks after Kuntar's death, December 20, 2015. (screen capture: Channel 2)
Smadar Haran, the mother and grandmother of Samir Kuntar’s victims during a 1979 terror attack, speaks after Kuntar’s death, December 20, 2015. (screen capture: Channel 2)

“They called me at 4 a.m, I woke up and thought about the years that passed, how historic justice had been made,” Smadar Haran told Army Radio.

“The circle has been closed,” she said later, noting that Kuntar’s “hands were drenched in blood.” His death was not a case of revenge, she said, but of preventing him from carrying out more attacks on Israelis.

During the attack, Smadar Haran hid from Kuntar with her two-year-old daughter Yael, but accidentally smothered her to death in an effort to silence her cries.

Roni Haran, the brother of Danny Haran, told the Ynet news website he “waited for this moment for seven years, since Kuntar was released from prison.”

“Samir Kuntar never regretted his actions, and there is a small consolation in this [his assassination], although it doesn’t take away the pain,” he said.

“I hope that this gets the message across that whoever murders Jews in Israel and in the world will end up like Samir Kuntar and the Munich murderers [of Israeli athletes],” Haran added. “As it stands, in the Middle East, this seems like the only language they understand.”

Israeli Moshe Sasson a survivor of Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar's attack in 1979, reenacts part of the event outside the apartment building in the Israeli coastal city of Nahariya, Tuesday, July 15, 2008. (AP/Ariel Schalit)
Israeli Moshe Sasson a survivor of Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar’s attack in 1979, reenacts part of the event outside the apartment building in the Israeli coastal city of Nahariya, Tuesday, July 15, 2008. (AP/Ariel Schalit)

Reports said that Kuntar, who was targeted in a residential building in a suburb of Damascus late Saturday night, was assassinated not as revenge for his past actions, but rather because he was planning fresh attacks against Israel. Syrian media said that among the dead was also Farhan Shaalan, a commander in the Syrian anti-Israel resistance group founded by Kuntar and others. Those reports said that senior Hezbollah members were also present in the building at the time of the attack.

File: Samir Kuntar. (Mardetanha/Wikipedia)
File: Samir Kuntar. (Mardetanha/Wikipedia)

The daughter of Eli Shachar, who was also murdered by Kuntar in the 1979 attack, told Channel 2 on Sunday morning that she was “pleased with and proud of the country that didn’t forget us.”

“It is very much a relief,” she added. “I feel relieved that we finally came full circle, that he is no longer alive, and that he won’t hurt anyone else.”

Former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) said it remained unclear who had targeted Kuntar “but they deserve congratulations from the people of Israel.”

“In the past seven years since he was released from Israeli prison, Samir Kuntar has not rested for a moment and has acted against the State of Israel,” he told Army Radio.

Kuntar was apprehended at the scene of the attack after a shootout with police, and was eventually convicted of murder and sent to prison. In 2008, he and four Hezbollah guerrillas were freed in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah in 2006.

Zionist Union MK Erel Margalit said he “doesn’t know who struck Kuntar, but I doff my hat to him and to those who planned the strike.”

“The elimination of terrorist Samir Kuntar, whoever did it, brought justice to the Haran and Shachar families, Israel, and the world,” said the Kulanu party’s Michael Oren.

Hezbollah said Kantar, known in Lebanon as “The dean of Lebanese Prisoners” for spending nearly three decades in Israel, was killed along with eight others in the strike in the Damascus suburb of Jaramana Saturday night. Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV aired footage of what it said was the residential building targeted in Jaramana Saturday night. The building appeared to have been completely destroyed.

 

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