Jerusalem – The Israeli cabinet approved a prisoner exchange that would free Samir Kantar and several other convicts in exchange for the bodies of Israeli soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, who were kidnapped and later executed by Hezbollah in 2006.

Mr. Kantar, who crushed the head of 4-year-old Eynat Haran with his rifle, is serving four life sentences for murder of the Haran family in 1979. Besides bludgeoning 4-year-old Eynat Haran to death with rocks and his rifle, Mr. Kantar killed her father and was responsible for the death of her 2-year-old sister. He also killed two policemen in that 1979 terror attack in Naharia.

In the village of Abiya in Lebanon, the deal between Israel and Hezbollah was not received with mixed feelings.

The logistical preparations for Mr. Kantar’s return have also begun. Hezbollah wants to turn this difficult day into a festive one: Hundreds of Hezbollah flags will fly in the Dahiya quarter, and huge photos of Mr. Kantar will be hung. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah himself, huge pictures of whom will also be hung, is expected to mark the day of the release with a taped speech in which he will stress: “The deal reconfirms Israel’s defeat in the Second Lebanon War.”

“During the 30 years of his imprisonment, I did not lose hope even once,” said Umm Samir, who was interviewed on Sunday on Hezbollah’s television channel. Mr. Kantar’s brother Bassam, who conducted the media campaign for his release, heaped praises upon Hezbollah Secretary General Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, “whose every word is a word, and a promise is a promise.”

Palestine Media Watch, PMW, which provides reports of the official Palestinian Authority media, controlled by PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, displayed a banner in honor of Mr. Kantar on official Palestinian Authority TV this week and depicted Mr. Kantar standing beside a map of Israel that is completely covered over by the Palestinian flag.

PMW has quoted PA leaders in the official PA media, since April, lavishing praise on Mr. Kantar with expressions such as:

* “Samir Kantar, the warrior from Lebanon.”

* “The brave warrior, Samir Kantar.”

* “The Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership are standing behind you (Kantar).”

* “You (Kantar) are an inseparable part of the action to free our homeland.”

* “Your (Kantar’s) patience and strength are a lesson for us.”

David Bedein can be reached at His Web site is

©The Bulletin 2008


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.