Kuntar mustn't be freed, says Danny Haran's brother
Roni Keren, who lost his brother, nieces to terrorist's murderous attack, says letting killer go may carry 'severe consequences.' Victim's wife sends cabinet letter asking ministers to disregard her personal pain, make decision according to Israel's needs
"The mere thought that Kuntar might be freed makes my stomach turn," said Roni Keren Sunday. Terrorist Samir Kuntar was jailed 29 years ago for killing Keren's brother, Danny Haran, and his two daughters, Einat and Yael.
Any prisoner exchange deal which would result in Kuntar's release would carry "severe consequences," warned Keren: "This isn't about revenge. This vile killer never expressed any remorse and he might end up making a triumphant return to Lebanon. We cannot allow that."
Keren said that over the past few days, the family has received dozens of calls form other bereaved families, offering their support.
"Ours isn’t a private incident, it belongs to the State of Israel. Unfortunately, Kuntar's name has become more familiar than that of Danny Haran lately. I wish he could just be taken out of the equation," said Keren.
The thought that Kuntar might soon become a free man in haunting him, he said: "I can't imagine it. That vicious murdered, who bashed a four-year-old girl's head in with a gun, set free?!
"Bringing Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev back alive is very important, but the other side must realize that getting them back alive is none negotiable. Otherwise it would carry severe political and military consequences," he said.
"I feel very bad about the way this thing is being conducted. We have to radically change the way we deal with such negotiations."
'Decision must serve Israel's interests'
During Sunday's cabinet meeting, Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter presented the ministers with a letter written by Smadar Haran, Danny's widow, in which she said she had no objections to Kuntar's release.
"The despicable, vile murderer Samir Kuntar isn’t, nor has he ever been, my private prisoner. Kuntar is a prisoner of the State, which sentenced him to five terms if life imprisonment for his vicious crimes," she wrote.
"His fate must be decided now, according to Israel's best defensive needs and moral interests, which should serve the people of Israel, now and in the future.
"I ask that my own personal pain not be taken into account when you deliberate, despite its significance and implications. I cannot overlook the pain and suffering of the Goldwasser and Regev families, or the moral debt I have to all those who have worked for my safety.
"I have given this matter a great deal of thought, and as hard as it may be, I will not oppose any decision made (by the government). No matter how hard it may be, my mind is at peace," wrote Smadar Haran.
Roni Sofer contributed to this report