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Photo: Gil Yohanan
Keren family. Is this your hero?
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Prisoner exchange. Soldiers' coffins
Photo: Channel 2
Danny Haran’s brother: I feel defeated and humiliated
Keren family watches as their relatives' murderer set free in exchange for soldiers' coffins. 'If I could, I would have killed him myself,' says Ronnie Keren

The relatives of Danny Haran, who was murdered together with his two daughters in 1979 by a terror cell headed by murderer Samir Kuntar, on Wednesday watched the footage of kidnapped IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev returned in coffins from mother Nina Keren’s home in Kiryat Tivon – furious at the fact that Kuntar has been released in return for dead soldiers.

 

Baruch Keren, Danny’s brother, said: “When I saw our coffins I felt defeated and humiliated. If the soldiers were alive, at least one of them, I would have accepted it differently no doubt. But when you see the coffins you understand how we’ve been toyed with this whole time.

 

"While we tried our best to be human and let a murderer marry and study, we have created this monster and turned him into their hero. I ask the Lebanese people – is this your hero? A man who bashed the skull of a little girl? This is the murderer you are crowning a hero?”

 

On Tuesday, the family met with President Shimon Peres, who signed off on Kuntar’s pardon papers.

 

Ronnie Keren, another brother, added to the heavy feelings surrounding Kuntar’s release: “My heart aches. We had an opportunity to change the negotiation terms after realizing the soldiers’ fate but went on with the deal.

 

“Our story with Samir Kuntar in Israel is over, but not done with. I am sure he will come back on a terror call which is why this is not the end of the story. I hope that Kuntar, like Nassrallah, will never live to see daylight. We must solve this problem and let every one know that Jewish blood is not spilled in vain. If I had the option of taking him out before he returns to Lebanon, I would have done it without hesitance.”

 

‘I dreamt one of them came back in a wheelchair’

The family found it unbearable to watch the prisoner exchange footage. The TV was turned on for only a few minutes, as the relatives watched the scene at Rosh Hanikra. When the identification of Regev and Goldwasser’s bodies became clear, they turned the TV off.

 

Haran’s sister, Nurit Keren, said: “I wish we could have been surprised and that they (the soldiers) would have come back alive, so we wouldn’t appear like such fools. I dreamt tonight that one of them came back in a wheelchair. Danny would have been happy had the soldiers come back alive.”

 

Danny’s mother Nina Keren concluded the family’s responses by saying: “Kuntar’s parents should be ashamed of raising a killer, a savage, and there is no room for celebration. What are they celebrating? The return of a little girl’s murderer? It’s so inhumane."

 

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