18 July 2006

"What kind of world are they living in?"

Although Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah was quoted as saying late last week that "the battle today is no longer a battle over prisoners or the exchange of prisoners", CNSNews.com is reporting today that the aim of the July 12 kidnapping of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, in which eight other Israeli soldiers were killed, is to exchange them for a Lebanese prisoner named Samir Kuntar.

Meet Samir Kuntar, who has been in an Israeli jail for 28 years serving multiple life sentences.

Kuntar was one of a four-man group that crossed into Israel by sea, sent on the mission by the Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), an affiliate of Yasser Arafat's PLO.

In the coastal town of Nahariya, the terrorists shot dead a policeman and forced their way into an apartment building, where they captured Danny Haran and his daughter, Einat, 4.

While the terrorists rampaged through the apartment, firing weapons and detonating grenades, Haran's wife Smadar hid in a crawlspace above the couple's bedroom together with their other daughter, two-year-old Yael, and a neighbor.

In an effort to prevent Yael from crying out and alerting the terrorists to their whereabouts, Smadar kept her hand over the child's mouth, and accidentally smothered her to death.

Meanwhile Kuntar and his group took Danny and Einat Haran 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," Smadar wrote later.

"Then he smashed my little girl's skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar."

I think Nasrallah is right. This conflict isn't about the exchange of prisoners. It's about incompatible cultures.

At a press conference in Beirut's southern suburbs last week, reported on Hizballah's website, [Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah] said of the Israelis: "What do they want us to do? Hand over the soldiers and apologize? What kind of world are they living in?"

How about a world in which smashing a child's skull with a rifle butt is not considered acceptable behavior?

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