Samir Kuntar: I Met With Abbas in Beirut at His Request

Lebanon terrorist freed in Hezbollah-Israel swap; Olmert rebukes Abbas for meeting 'despicable killer.'

Notorious Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar on Tuesday said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas requested a recent meeting between the two that has angered Israel.

Kuntar said in a statement that the meeting last week in Beirut was in response to a direct request by Abbas. An aide to Abbas denied that, saying it was Kuntar requested the meet. The aide was speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the press.

Kantar was convicted of killing three people in a particularly brutal attack in Israel in 1979. Israel traded him and other prisoners in July as part of a swap with Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group, receiving in return the bodies of two kidnapped Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

At a summit on Sunday, Olmert rebuked Abbas for the meeting. He told Abbas: "You are not a man of terror, and I didn't expect you to meet with such a despicable killer as him."

Abbas answered that the meeting was unplanned and that Kuntar had in fact invited himself. The prime minister replied that it was still possible for the Palestinian leader not to have met with Kuntar.