MAJDAL SHAMS, Syria - Convicted murderer Samir Kuntar, freed by Israel last July during a prisoner exchange with the Lebanese-based Hezbollah terror group, addressed a cheering crowd of supporters on Tuesday near the Syrian village of Majdal Shams.
Kuntar was serving a life sentence for the murder of an Israeli family, including a four-year-old whom he bludgeoned to death, and a policeman, in the northern coastal city of Nahariya in 1979.
Speaking to some 200 Syrians and about 400 Druze Arabs from the Israeli side of the border, Kuntar delivered a message from Syrian President Bashar Assad.
"He [Assad] seeks to tell you that everything our people want they will receive. We will not be stingy with the people of the Golan," Kuntar told the crowd.
"I tell you with all certainty that Bashar Assad will raise the Syrian flag over the Golan and soon. You are the real resistors, even more than me. Lift up your heads because this people loves the resistance," he said.
Kuntar also bore a message from Hezbollah spiritual leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.
"He [Nasrallah] says to you, 'We are waiting for a single mistake from the Zionists. The freedom fighters are waiting for you below the ground," he said.
While in Syria, Assad honored Kuntar with the country's most prestigious award, the Syrian Order of Merit.
"Kuntar was not only the senior prisoner during his time in jail, he is chief among free and honorable men," Assad said. "His firm stance and commitment to Arab rights, despite everything he went through, have made him a symbol of the struggle for freedom in the Arab world and in the entire world," he said.
Kuntar, in turn, praised Syria and Assad in the name of Hezbollah.
Sources: Haaretz, Israel National News