Last month, the U.S. State Department announced on its website that Samir Kuntar of Lebanon had attained the distinction of Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) under Executive Order 13224. According to the site, this means that “all property subject to U.S. jurisdiction in which Kuntar has any interest is blocked and U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with him or to his benefit.”
Kuntar’s previous distinctions have included being Israel’s longest-held Lebanese prisoner, racking up 29 consecutive years in Israeli custody. The marathon began in April 1979, when a then 16-year-old Kuntar was apprehended in the Israeli coastal town of Nahariya during a botched operation organized by the Lebanon-based Palestine Liberation Front (PLF), a component of the PLO.
The aim of the operation, in which Kuntar and three companions sailed from Lebanon in a rubber dinghy, was to kidnap Israelis to use as bargaining chips for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. In the end, two members of Kuntar’s team and five Israelis died, including two policemen and three members of the Haran family. Kuntar was sentenced to 542 years in prison for allegedly shooting 32-year-old Danny Haran in front of his four-year-old daughter Einat and then smashing the girl’s skull against a rock with his rifle butt—a version of events that Kuntar denies, as the world finally learned in 2008 when Israel deigned to release the relevant court transcripts. READ MORE AT TeleSUR ENGLISH.