CBNNews.com - TEHERAN, Iran - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad presented Lebanese-based Hezbollah terrorist Samir Kuntar, who was held in an Israeli prison for almost 30 years, with an honorary award for his murder of several Israelis.
During the ceremony, Kuntar received a small statue depicting two prisoners trying to break out of a cell.
"We must resist the American occupation because the Americans support dictatorship, and in the region, we must resist the Zionist regime and destroy it," Kuntar said during the festivities.
Thirty Iranian prisoners from the Shah's regime, 10 from Muslim countries and a man who lived through South Africa's apartheid period were also honored.
In the press conference following the ceremony, Kuntar thanked Iran for its support of Hezbollah and Hamas.
"The Islamic revolution in Iran has a big part in the victories of the years 2000, 2006, and the most recent victory of the people of Gaza," Kuntar told reporters.
Prior to his release last July as part of a prisoner exchange between Israel and Hezbollah, Kuntar had been serving four consecutive life sentences for a terror attack he led in the Israeli coastal city of Nahariya in 1979.
Two Israeli policemen and three members of the Haran family died in the attack, including the four-year-old daughter of Danny Haran, who was bludgeoned to death in front of her father before Kuntar killed him.
He was welcomed home by Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, Hezbollah spiritual leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah.
Many Arab leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, hailed Kuntar as a hero of the "resistance."
Source: YNet news, The Associated Press, Reuters