Following are screenshots from TV coverage on Israel Channel 10 and 2. The backdrop is my wallpaper, a night shot I took of Tel Aviv. Click on the photos for full-sized images.
The tradeoff between Israel and Hizbullah begins.
Samir Kuntar arrives in Lebanon. (Read below to learn first-hand the monster that is Kuntar)
I have no words to express my feelings of revulsion and disgust at this travesty of elemental decent and humane behavior by a pack of turbaned creatures that give a wild animals a bad name.
Grieving friends and neighbor's outside of the Regev family apartment, near Haifa; cheering Lebanese welcome Kuntar as a "hero."
Hizbullah chieftan Hassan Nasrallah, Karnit Goldwasser, widow of Ehud.
Watching the coverage on Israel's Channel's 2 and 10, I felt transported to one scene during the war in the summer of 2006: I met and spoke with Eldad's father, Tzvi Regev, at their apartment in Kiryat Motzkin near Haifa. He was quiet, noble, but his grief was palpable. I ache for what he must be going through today.
Rolling out the red carpet for Kuntar in Beirut, as Hizbullah officials unload the soldier's coffins for transport to Israel. This moment was the first time in 24-months that any Israeli knew the status of their imprisonment.
There must be a proper closure for the families, resolution of the awful consequences of the war, as far as Hizbullah... and vengeance against them and their supporters; yes, accurate, timely and incisive vengeance for Israel against its enemies, in this debacle. There will be, I pray.
And soon, for all our sakes.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert pay their last respects over the two coffins.
Tzvi Regev look on, as an IDF honor guard salutes the fallen soldiers after they are received in Israel.
Memorial candles lit in the entranceway to Tzvi Regev's apartment in Kiryat Motzkin, photos of Eldad and Ehud.
A Palestinian youth in Gaza hands out sweet pastries to passing vehicles, in celebration of Kuntar's release.
The coffins are loaded for transport to an IDF base after a forensics team and the families makes a positive identification of the remains.
Previous posts, 1st-person coverage of the 2006 War against Hizbullah including photos and video are here.
Flickr photos of the coverage are here.
Smadar Haran Kaieser is the mother of the four-year-old girl, Einat, that Kuntar brutally killed, and the wife of Danny, who Kantar also killed. She writes in the Washington Post:
It had been a peaceful Sabbath day. My husband, Danny, and I had picnicked with our little girls, Einat, 4, and Yael, 2, on the beach not far from our home in Nahariya, a city on the northern coast of Israel, about six miles south of the Lebanese border. Around midnight, we were asleep in our apartment when four terrorists, sent by Abu Abbas from Lebanon, landed in a rubber boat on the beach two blocks away.
Gunfire and exploding grenades awakened us as the terrorists burst into our building. They had already killed a police officer. As they charged up to the floor above ours, I opened the door to our apartment. In the moment before the hall light went off, they turned and saw me. As they moved on, our neighbor from the upper floor came running down the stairs. I grabbed her and pushed her inside our apartment and slammed the door.
Outside, we could hear the men storming about. Desperately, we sought to hide. Danny helped our neighbor climb into a crawl space above our bedroom; I went in behind her with Yael in my arms. Then Danny grabbed Einat and was dashing out the front door to take refuge in an underground shelter when the terrorists came crashing into our flat.
They held Danny and Einat while they searched for me and Yael, knowing there were more people in the apartment. I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe.
As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. "This is just like what happened to my mother," I thought.
As police began to arrive, the terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach.
There, according to eyewitnesses, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl's skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar.