CBNNews.com - JERUSALEM, Israel - Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas congratulated the family of convicted murderer Samir Kuntar on his release Wednesday.
Abbas also extended condolences to Lebanese people receiving the remains of family members who had been buried in Israel.
In addition to the five prisoners released in the exchange deal, the remains of nearly 200 Lebanese and Palestinians terrorists buried in Israel were exhumed and turned over to Lebanon.
Gaza-based Hamas terror chief Ismail Haniyeh also congratulated Kuntar and Hezbollah.
"[This is] a great victory of the resistance, which proved the rightness of our way," Haniyeh told reporters just before the prisoner exchange began at 9:00 a.m. Wednesday.
"Today, Palestinians embark on a new era. Samir Kuntar, this huge hero who sacrificed 30 years of his life for the Palestinian issue -- for Palestine -- is a legend due to the agony he suffered in the Israeli jail," Haniyeh said.