The Palestinian Authority granted honorary citizenship to two Arab terrorists who killed Israelis, including 2-year-old and 4-year-old girls.
Samir Quntar of Lebanon and Sultan Al-Ajaluni of Jordan are serving life sentences in Israeli prisons, but the announcement of their honor was met with praise by many Palestinian groups, according to Israel-based Palestinian Media Watch, or PMW.
PMW pointed out the honor was granted by the Fatah-led government of Mahmoud Abbas. The terrorist group Hamas, which gained a majority in parliamentary elections last month, has not appointed a new government yet.
The terrorist Palestinian Liberation Front, through general secretariat member Wasil Abu Yusuf, praised the award as “an act of dedication to their struggle and their heroic suffering in the occupation’s prisons, reported the daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida last Wednesday.
PMW commented: “Societies measure their heroes in different ways. Some societies honor athletes or performers. Others celebrate caregivers and humanitarian workers. The Palestinians, on the other hand, have consistently chosen to honor murderers as their national icons.”
In 1979, Quntar murdered Danny Haran and his 4-year-old daughter, Einat. Haran’s daughter Yael, aged 2, suffocated while hiding from the attack in a crawl space with her mother. Quntar is serving multiple life sentences totaling 542 years in prison.
Smadar Haran, wife and mother of the victims, described the attack in the Washington Post in 2003, calling it a “murder of unimaginable cruelty.”
“It had been a peaceful Sabbath day. My husband Danny and I had picnicked with our little girls, Einat, 4, and Yael, 2, on the beach. Around midnight … the terrorists burst into our building.
Danny helped our neighbor climb into a crawl space above our bedroom; I went in behind her with Yael in my arms. Danny grabbed Einat and was dashing out the front door when the terrorists came crashing into our flat. They held Danny and Einat
… I will never forget the joy and the hatred in the terrorists voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades.
… As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. … The terrorists took Danny and Einat down 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.
Then he smashed my little girl’s skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Quntar.”
Other Palestinian groups responding to the award included “Friends of the Prisoners,” which said it was “an act of Palestinian national obligation and in dedication to this honored history, that the Arab prisoners have provided to the Palestinian issue,” reported the daily Al-Quds March 7.
Palestinian Media Watch pointed out the Palestinian Authority long has seen Quntar as a hero, repeatedly showing his picture on television and proclaiming him a “model warrior,” “brave,” a “leader,” and “head” of the prisoners.
PA Minister of Prisoners, Hisham Abdul Razeq, said the “torch of freedom was lifted by our heroic prisoners and headed by the great warrior Samir Quntar.”
Prominent Palestinian Authority TV broadcaster Muhammad Albaz said in August 2004, “Here before us is the picture of the great Lebanese Palestinian warrior Samir Quntar. A thousand blessings to the warrior Samir Quntar [the audience claps] and to his family in Lebanon and to this hero who was sentenced to 576 year [in prison], and this is the evil, and this is Israeli democracy.
In a broadcast earlier that month, Quntar was hailed as “a model of a brilliant warrior who believes in his goals, knows his way, and perseveres in achieving those goals.”
“We bless the family members of Samir Quntar, we are with you, PA TV said in a Aug. 18, 2004, broadcast. “He is your son but he is also our son, the son of Palestine. We ask of Allah, that there will be 100 more Samir Quntars, 1,000 more Samir Quntars, 1,000,000 more Samir Quntars, that do and act for the Palestinian issue.”