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Honorary Citizenship - Reward for Arab Murderers

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. The Palestinian Authority has announced that it was granting honorary citizenship to two Arab terrorists who killed Israelis - a Lebanese terrorist, Samir Quntar, and Jordanian terrorist, Sultan Al-Ajaluni. Both are serving life sentences in Israeli jails.

In 1979 Lebanese terrorist Samir Quntar murdered Danny Haran and his four-year-old daughter, Einat. Danny's daughter Yael, aged two, suffocated while hiding 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 murder victims, described the murder in the Washington Post in 2003:

"It was 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. "This is just like what happened to my mother," I thought. .. 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."
[*Smadar Haran Kaiser, Washington Post, May 18, 2003*]

This is the Samir Quntar who last week was granted honorary Palestinian citizenship. Palestinian organizations responded with applause to this announcement:

Here's the Palestinian comment:

"The "friends of the prisoners" organization sees the decision, of the present [Fatah led] government, to award Palestinian citizenship to two ‚  Arab prisoners - Samir Quntar from Lebanon and Sultan Al-Ajaluni from Jordan - an act of Palestinian national obligation and in dedication to this honoredhistory, that the Arab prisoners have provided to the Palestinian issue."
[*Al-Quds, Mar. 7, 2006*]

"The Palestinian Liberation Front, through general secretariat member, Dr. Wasil Abu Yusuf, praised the government's decision. to award the imprisoned fighters, Sarmir Quntar and Sultan Al-Ajaluni , honorary citizenship and Palestinian citizenship as an act of dedication to their struggle and their heroic suffering in the occupation's prisons.
[*Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 8, 2006*]

"The Palestinian Popular Committees expressed their appreciation for the government's decision to award the two imprisoned fighters, Sarmir Quntar and Sultan Al-Ajaluni, honorary citizenship and Palestinian citizenship as an act of dedication to their struggle and their heroic sufferings in the occupation's prisons.
[*Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Mar. 9, 2006*]

From PMW archives: Sarmir Quntar - for years a Palestinian hero*

PATV and PA leaders have long seen Quntar as a hero. His picture is repeatedly shown on TV and he was proclaimed the "model warrior," "brave," and a "leader" and "head" of the prisoners.

PA Minister of Prisoners, Hisham Abdul Razeq, defined Quntar as the leader of the prisoners:

The torch of freedom [that] was lifted by our heroic prisoners and headed by the great warrior Samir Quntar...and our thanks to you.
[*PATV, Aug. 15, 2004*]

Prominent PA TV broadcaster Muhammad Albaz:

"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.
[*PATV, Aug. 25, 2004*]

PA TV extolled him:

"Quntar is a model of a brilliant warrior - who believes in his goals, knows his way, and perseveres in achieving those goals...."
[*PATV, Aug. 18, 2004*]

Another TV broadcaster referred to him as a leader:

"The leader Samir Quntar, our wish for him is that he will soon be released."
[*PATV, Aug. 18, 2004*]

A broadcast describing Quntar's life defines his murder as "brave:

"He was sentenced to 542 years in prison for committing the brave Nahariya action in Palestine (note-Israel city of Nahariya is defined as ' Palestine.')
[*PATV, Aug. 18, 2004*]

Palestinian demonstrators supporting a prisoner hunger strike singled out Quntar as a model to be followed:

"We bless the family members of Samir Quntar, we are with you. 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.
[*PATV, Aug. 18, 2004*]

Finally it should be noted that this act of granting honorary Palestinian citizenship to Quntar was done by the present Fatah headed government. The Hamas led government has not yet been appointed.

Naturally- no BBC comment!