Samir Kuntar gjennomførte et av de mest beryktede terrorangrepene i Israel. Nå slipper han trolig ut, i en fangeutveksling mellom Hizbollah og Israel. Hizbollah får Kuntar og flere andre, mens Israel kun får utlevert likene av to to soldater som ble kidnappet da Hizbollah gjennomførte raidet som utløste krigen sommeren 2006. Mange israelere er betenkt. Israelske foreldre og pårørende skal vite at myndighetene aldri gir opp å få deres kjære hjem. Men regjeringen trodde soldatene var i live, og i Libanon jubler HIzbollah. De ser på frigivelsen av Kuntar og de andre som en seier. Og Kuntar angrer ingenting. Både politisk og moralsk er innvendingene sterke.
«There will be much sadness in Israel, much humiliation considering the celebrations that will be held on the other side.»
Indeed, within minutes of the decision, Al Manar, the Hezbollah television station, hailed it as evidence of the group’s power, «What happened in the prisoner issue is proof that the word of the resistance is the most faithful, strongest and supreme,» Hezbollah’s executive council chief, Hashem Safieddine, was quoted as saying.
The July 12, 2006 raid by Hezbollah into Israel that took the two soldiers captive was aimed at seizing bargaining chips in the group’s effort to free Mr. Kuntar and the several other Lebanese held by Israel.
Mr. Kuntar was part of a cell that in 1979 raided the northern Israeli town of Nahariya, shooting dead Danny Haran while his daughter Einat, 4, watched, then smashing the girl’s head, killing her as well. Mr. Haran’s wife, Smadar, hid with their 2-year-old daughter and accidentally suffocated her to death in an effort to stop her from crying out.
Mr. Kuntar has said he regrets nothing and will receive a hero’s welcome when he returns, which is part of what caused the hesitation among Israel’s security establishment, many of whom recommended rejecting the deal. But the Goldwasser and Regev families mounted a highly effective campaign supported by vast numbers of Israelis who want to know that if their children fall in battle, the state will spare nothing to secure their return.