Following the government’s decision Tuesday to approve the release of murderer Samir Kuntar as part of the prisoner exchange deal with Hizbullah, President Shimon Peres is expected to meet with Nina Keren, mother of Danny Haran, who was killed with both of his daughters by Samir Kuntar in the terror raid on Nahariya in 1979.
Keren told Ynet that she still hopes the murderer who killed her son and two granddaughters will not be freed: “I can’t stop crying. I am in complete shock. I never thought they would let him go. They always told me that people with blood on their hands would not be released. I only hope to be respected in the meeting (with Peres); after all, I am the mother of murdered son and granddaughters.”
Her voice pained and choked with tears, Keren claimed that had she been more opposing of the deal, Kuntar’s release may have been prevented. “It’s because I wasn’t loud enough in the past month. Others made a big noise and got what they wanted. Now Kuntar will return to Lebanon, and people in Israel will never know about the killing. It will be forgotten; they’ll say it was due to war. What war was he in I ask you? A war against a little girl whom he murdered for no reason?”
According to Haran, if there was proof that Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were still alive, she would be less adamant about not releasing her son and granddaughters’ assassin. “If the soldiers were alive, Hizbullah would have already shown it to us in the media; shown videos, sent letters. If they were alive it would be different, but how can you exchange living people for bodies? Kuntar can return later and kill soldiers.”
“I hope he won’t sign,” Haran said of Peres, with whom she will be meeting later Tuesday. “Signing (Kuntar’s pardon) weighs on his (Peres) shoulders. Pardon is synonymous with forgiveness. I don’t understand how this can be done.” Haran will be attending the meeting with her two sons.
Peres said ahead of the meeting that the papers should be signed to release Kuntar and four other Lebanese prisoners as part of the exchange deal. “The hand trembles. Releasing such murderers is hardly a happy occasion; it’s a very difficult and sad one. However, our solders were sent to the battlefield by us, and it is our moral and spiritual duty to bring them home. We mustn’t spare any attempt in order to ensure their return.
Peres said he will not sign the pardon papers until he receives all the information needed, and will only sign on condition that the captives’ identification is completed. This is to prevent the other side from not fulfilling their end of the bargain.