Thousands Attend Funeral of Samir al-Quntar in Dahieh

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
  • W460
  • W460

Thousands of people gathered Monday in the southern Beirut suburb of Ghobeiri for the funeral of high-profile Hizbullah militant Samir al-Quntar, who the group says was killed by an Israeli airstrike near the Syrian capital.

Hizbullah said Quntar, who spent 30 years in an Israeli prison after a deadly operation in northern Israel, was killed Saturday along with eight others in the airstrike on a residential building in Jaramana, close to Damascus.

Hizbullah has pledged to avenge his killing, sparking fears of escalation in a volatile region.

Supporters of the group walked behind his coffin, which was draped in a yellow Hizbullah flag, at the funeral Monday.

"The Israelis still haven't learned that with all these assassination attempts on leaders they are committing a huge mistake," senior Hizbullah official Hashem Safieddine said at the funeral.

A thick crowd chanted "Death to Israel! Death to America!" and waved the Palestinian, Lebanese and Hizbullah flags, as the coffin was carried to a mausoleum reserved for "martyrs."

Hizbullah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah is due to speak later Monday about Quntar's killing.

Israel has welcomed news of Quntar's death without claiming responsibility for the raid that killed him on Saturday.

Shortly after Quntar's release from an Israeli prison in 2008, however, a top Israeli security official had warned he was a "target."

In Dahieh's Ghobeiri neighborhood, a bastion of Hizbullah support, uniformed militants manned checkpoints flying the movement's yellow-and-green flag ahead of the funeral.

Hizbullah helped negotiate Quntar's release in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers after he had spent 30 years in Israeli jails.

Quntar was still a teenager when he and three other members of the Palestine Liberation Front infiltrated the Israeli village of Nahariya by sea from Lebanon in 1979.

Israeli authorities accused the militants of shooting dead Danny Haran, 28, and battering his four-year-old daughter Einat's skull with rifle butts. Quntar has denied murdering the girl, saying she was killed in the crossfire.

Quntar was sentenced to five life terms plus 47 years on charges of murdering the father and daughter and an Israeli policeman.

Shortly after his release, he joined Hizbullah.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said he became "head of the Syrian resistance for the liberation of the Golan," a group launched two years ago by Hizbullah in the region, most of which Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East war.

"In his seven years of freedom, Samir was involved in the resistance (against Israel) in Lebanon and when the first signs of resistance appeared on the occupied Golan front, he was one of the first to join up and Israel tried six times to kill him in Lebanon and Syria," his brother Bassam said in an article published in Lebanese daily al-Akhbar.

"When Nasrallah announced we would soon see a Syrian resistance just as efficient as the Shiite resistance in southern Lebanon, Quntar was part of the equation," said Hizbullah expert and professor of sociology Waddah Sharara.

Originally from the Druze mountains southeast of Beirut, Quntar was among Lebanese youths who fought alongside Palestinian militants in the country's civil war in the 1970s.

Druze leader Walid Jumblat, whose father Kamal was a figurehead for Lebanese leftist movements before his assassination in 1977, paid tribute to Quntar.

"Despite the differences in our political positions and on the Syria crisis, we condemn the death of the militant Samir... who dedicated his life to the struggle against Israeli occupation," he said.

Comments 11
Default-user-icon Abu Quahafah (Guest) 21 December 2015, 19:12

The assassination of Samir al-Quntar by the odious forces of Zionism had deeply saddened every honest soul in this world. He was a paragon of noble struggle, a fully committed brave warrior, who died in the battlefield fighting the evils of the abominable Jewish entity in Palestine.
The loss of those whom we love, respect and treasure makes it hard to find the right words to bring comfort to those who are left behind. At such times it is just a thought that helps in some small way, to guide the nation through the darkest hours of the loss of such a great warrior. Samir’s memory shall remain vivid in our hearts forever
May God, the comfort of the sad, and the strength of those who suffer, alleviate the grief of his family, give them that inner peace that the world cannot give, grant them relief and refreshment, and let the lights of His Power perpetually shine upon the soul of Samir and work in him the good purpose of His perfect Will.
With my deepest sympathy
Abu Quahafah

Thumb thepatriot 21 December 2015, 19:59

May he rest in pieces!

Thumb shab 21 December 2015, 20:02

I wonder if they found all of him

Thumb Elemental 21 December 2015, 22:20

Hi Southern :)

Missing helicopter 22 December 2015, 04:16

Agree texas, he should be booked by skeleton on two counts: Sick murder of a child and treason against Lebanon.

Missing peace 22 December 2015, 12:36

southern and his selective memories.... so hollow brain perfect to be fed with hezbi propaganda...

Thumb _mowaten_ 22 December 2015, 13:08

"Mossad trained you well in propaganda. I'm almost tearful."


Missing cedars 22 December 2015, 14:25

Where are these people dying day in and day out? Golan and Damascus?

Anyone dying 1cm outside the border of the state does not belong to the statehood of Lebanon.

The collapse of the Syrian regime enables keeping our citizens in Lebanon and eliminates the cancer bridge extension to the armed militants.

Default-user-icon disgusted (Guest) 22 December 2015, 15:38

why did they bring his body here? we already have a big garbage problem in the country!

Thumb _mowaten_ 22 December 2015, 15:41

quntar said the girl died in the crossfire, i'd rather believe him than israelis, who we know have done nothing but lie since they exist.

Thumb _mowaten_ 22 December 2015, 17:36

according to... ?