July 28, 2006 - Hezbollah wants to know what all the fuss is about. Hezbollah thinks it only fair that its dispute with Israel be settled with a prisoner swap (while of course leaving its missiles in place).
The prisoner Hezbollah wants most and keeps asking for by name is Samir Kuntar. On April 22, 1979 Kuntar murdered the family of Smadar Haran. It is best that she herself tell you about it.
It had been a peaceful Sabbath day. My husband, Danny, and I had picnicked with our little girls, Einat, 4, and Yael, 2, on the beach not far from our home in Nahariya, a city on the northern coast of Israel, about six miles south of the Lebanese border. Around midnight, we were asleep in our apartment when four terrorists, sent by Abu Abbas from Lebanon, landed in a rubber boat on the beach two blocks away. Gunfire and exploding grenades awakened us as the terrorists burst into our building. They had already killed a police officer. As they charged up to the floor above ours, I opened the door to our apartment. In the moment before the hall light went off, they turned and saw me. As they moved on, our neighbor from the upper floor came running down the stairs. I grabbed her and pushed her inside our apartment and slammed the door.
Outside, we could hear the men storming about. Desperately, we sought to hide. Danny helped our neighbor climb into a crawl space above our bedroom; I went in behind her with Yael in my arms. Then Danny grabbed Einat and was dashing out the front door to take refuge in an underground shelter when the terrorists came crashing into our flat.
They held Danny and Einat while they searched for me and Yael, knowing there were more people in the apartment. I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. "This is just like what happened to my mother," I thought.
As police began to arrive, the terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach. There, according to eyewitnesses, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl's skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar.
By the time we were rescued from the crawl space, hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives, I had smothered her.
This is what Hezbollah is fighting for.
Beno, Goel. "Smadar Haran: He Must Not Go Free." Yedi'ot Aharonot, July 3, 2003.
Dickey, Christopher and Babak Dehghanpisheh. "Torn to Shreds." Newsweek, July 31 issue, 2006.
Kaiser, Smadar Haran. "The World Should Know What He Did to My Family." Washington Post, May 18, 2003.
Reynolds, Paul. "Middle East Crisis: Future Scenarios." BBC News, July 27, 2006.
Peace with Realism