Abbas Congratulates Kuntar's Family for Killer's Release

Haniyeh: Kuntar 'great hero,' swap undermines Israeli stance on prisoners with 'blood on hands.'

News Agencies
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
News Agencies

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday congratulated the family of notorious Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar , who was freed on Wednesday with four Hezbollah guerillas as part of a prisoner exchange with Israel.

Abbas welcomed the swap between Israel and the Lebanon-based militant group, and in a statement congratulated the families of the "liberated prisoners," issued during a visit to Malta.

Kuntar has been imprisoned in Israel since 1979. He was convicted of one of the grisliest attacks in Israeli history - killing three people including, a man in front of his 4-year-old daughter, and then killing the girl herself by crushing her skull.

In Gaza, meanwhile, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh on Wednesday hailed Kuntar as "a great hero" and said Israel's decision to release him and four Hezbollah fighters had undermined Israel's policy of not freeing "prisoners with blood on their hands."

Haniyeh also branded the exchange of prisoners as "a victory" for Hezbollah and armed resistance against Israel.

"The Israelis should pay the price for the release of Gilad Shalit," Haniya said in a statement in central Gaza, referring to the Israel Defense Forces soldier kidnapped by Gaza militants in June, 2006 cross-border raid.

"It is hard to see thousands of prisoners still held in Israeli jails," He added.

People celebrated in the streets of the Hamas-controlled coastal territory, and handed out sweets in support of Hezbollah.

"Today is a great victory for the resistance movements and to Hezbollah, said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. "It shows that the only successful way to free the prisoners is by kidnapping soldiers."

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

SUBSCRIBE
Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

The projected rise in sea level on a beach in Haifa over the next 30 years.

Facing Rapid Rise in Sea Levels, Israel Could Lose Large Parts of Its Coastline by 2050

Tal Dilian.

As Israel Reins in Its Cyberarms Industry, an Ex-intel Officer Is Building a New Empire

Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III and a British synagogue.

How the Queen’s Death Changes British Jewry’s Most Distinctive Prayer

Newly appointed Israeli ambassador to Chile, Gil Artzyeli, poses for a group picture alongside Rabbi Yonatan Szewkis, Chilean deputy Helia Molina and Gerardo Gorodischer, during a religious ceremony in a synagogue in Vina del Mar, Chile last week.

Chile Community Leaders 'Horrified' by Treatment of Israeli Envoy

Queen Elizabeth attends a ceremony at Windsor Castle, in June 2021.

Over 120 Countries, but Never Israel: Queen Elizabeth II's Unofficial Boycott