Samir Kuntar; Man who broke free from prison of life

Alwaght- In 2008, Samir Kuntar was liberated from Israeli prisons. Yet the bars he had lived behind for 29 years were to follow him in the years to come. Indeed, Kuntar was liberated from the shackles of the Israeli occupation regime, but never was he able to break free from the cause he so devotedly worked for: martyrdom, until now.  

The Israeli air raid on the building in Jaramana, a Damascus suburb, which claimed his life and that of several Syrian civilians on December 19th, was the decisive moment that freed Samir Kuntar from the prison of life.

A life of resistance

Since he joined the Palestine Liberation Front in 1978 at the young age of 16, Kuntar’s life had been marked by acts of resistance.

In 1979, the youth led an operation designated “Jamal Abdul Naser” infiltrating Nahariya by sea in a bid to capture Israeli soldiers in occupied Palestine. Ensuing clashes killed and injured 13 Israelis and ended in his detention. A year later, Kuntar was sentenced to 542 years in prison by a Tel Aviv Court.

Life in Prison

During the long years of his incarceration, Kuntar’s name rang across the region as he emerged as one of the symbols of the resistance. From one detention center to another and despite being tortured by the Israelis, Kuntar was known for his resilience.

He spent the last four years of his imprisonment in Hadarim Detention Center.


On July 12th, 2006 the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers along the southern Lebanese border which led to a 33-day war against Lebanon. Two years later, Kuntar was released as part of a prisoner swap deal between the two sides.

Upon his liberation, Kuntar vowed that he had only left Palestine in order to return and has been working as a leader among the ranks of the resistance for that aim.

Since then and up until his assassination, the martyred fighter had been keeping a low-profile and engaging in various resistance activities. He was believed to be a high-ranking Hezbollah commander before news of his martyrdom was announced.

Earlier this year, Kuntar was mistakenly declared a martyr of the Quneitra convoy in Syria’s Golan Heights where he was reportedly leading operations.

Kuntar certainly did not stand idly by when the conflict in Syria broke out. Instead, he fought alongside the Syrian army on the battlefield as part of efforts to end the terrorist invasion.

Although Palestine remained his avowed intent, the road to reach al-Quds had been diverted in light of the Syrian crisis. It has been acknowledged that the resistance, must now pass through Syria, to get to Palestine.


Ultimate freedom

When news of Kuntar’s assassination spread, the resistance crowd congratulated his family for his martyrdom as they believe that the resistance fighter has finally achieved his goal.

In a book entitled “My Story”, Kuntar relates events, memories, and recollections of his time behind Israeli bars.

The book starts from his early years and tells the story of his imprisonment and his liberation in 2008. Samir Kuntar described the moment he broke out of model prison bars on stage before thousands of jubilant supporters the day he arrived in Lebanon.

His first words were: “Believe me, I have only come back to return to Palestine. I came back to return there…”

Now after 40 years of working with and for the resistance movement, Kuntar told the world how his life story ends. Freedom is the title of the last chapter of the book of his life which he wrote in with his own blood.

By Alwaght

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