An Excerpt of the Book “Truth of Samir”

Narration of My Captivity Moments

Selected by Fatemeh Beheshti
Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi


It was as if I had woken up. I felt a bad smell. A soldier was standing next to me and pressing my leg with his boot. My blood serum bag was over my head. It was clear that I had lost a lot of blood. I regained consciousness with the pressure of the boot on my leg. It seemed they had put a piece of alcohol-soaked cotton in front of my nose to bring me back to consciousness.

An officer asked in Arabic incessantly, “How many people were you? What were their names?”[1] I was not in a good condition to answer him. They brought a stretcher and put me on it and then in the car. A few minutes later, they took me out of the car. I was moving on my legs hardly and felt dizziness. Two soldiers also held me from both sides. We went up the building stairs and entered a room. The first and most important question they insisted on knowing was where we were going back. The place where we separated was south of Tyre and Ras al-Bayada, and the place where we and our hostages returned was al-Baqbouq, north of the port of Tyre. That was all I knew.

They insisted on finding out where our commander was waiting for us that time, so that they can quickly compensate by bombarding and helicopter attack or by the immediate presence of their spies. But I expressed that I don’t know and said, “Only the commander knows where we should go back. I'm young and they don't tell me these things.”

When they asked name of the commander, I said, “Majed.” I knew he had died a martyr and this was the wisest answer. Majed was older than all of us and putting the burden of command on his shoulders would solve many problems. Ahmad Abras also thought I had been killed like Majed. He had seen that I had been shot five times, and that the last shot had hit my chest; therefore, he also easily introduced me as the group commander.

Responding to that I denied the position of command for myself, the commanding officer slapped me hard and said, “Don't lie. You are the commander and you know where to go. You are the one who knows where your commander is going to see you.” I knew that the place of return was very important to them. But a few hours later the issue would no longer important. So, I just had to wait until the next operation was announced.

They also knew that they should find the answer to this question during one or two hours; otherwise, they would miss a golden opportunity. Therefore, they quickly took me to dress my wounds but they just put cotton on my wound and attached a blood bag to me so that I don't die from bleeding. They even beat me in this condition. They were not disappointed by my silence. In the meantime, someone came with a gun and said, “If you don't answer us, I will kill you.” When I didn't answer him, he whacked my face with his gun.

Our struggles at this stage lasted for three hours until new operational news was published from different sources. It was natural that with announcement of the detailed news of the operation, our commanders could not attend the appointment. Apparently, this news had been announced in Syria. Yusuf al-Maqtama, known as Abu Nazal, had informed this news. After announcing the news, I was no longer asked about the place of return. Now the question was that what did we use to enter occupied Palestine? They had seen our plastic boat and couldn't believe that the four of us were able to enter the occupied Palestinian territory with just this simple device. Therefore, they insisted that we must admit that we entered Israel with a warship.

It was almost 12 at noon. They took off my bloody clothes, which had the marks of five bullets, and gave me an ordinary shirt, and put handcuffs on me and fettered. The weather was not warm yet. I felt cold because I had lost a lot of blood and was still bleeding more or less. They took me to the beach and the operation site to explain the scenes. A cold wind blows from the shore. Everything was completely in place. Martyr Mehna's corpse was still intact on the beach among the rocks. They said, “Do you know him?” I introduced him; Because his identity should not be lost. After that, they took us inside the building. When we went to the second floor, they took me next to the body of Martyr Abdul Majid Aslan. I also identified him and told his characteristics. They turned me inside the rooms and then took me out of the building. Journalists gathered and took many photos of me. The most famous photo of me that was published in those days was related to a few hours after my arrest.

They took me to the interrogation place again and asked about the battleship, what was the purpose of operation, who did we kill, and why did we do it? When they didn't hear an answer, they beat me regularly. They closed my eyes and put me in a room. It was clear that there was no prison; It was an ordinary building.

Early in the morning, they took me in the same condition out of that building. When I heard sound of the helicopter, I knew they were going to take me to another place for interrogation. My guess was right. They threw me on the floor of the helicopter. Surprisingly, I heard voice of Ahmad. I was already sure that their insistence on that I was the commander was because of Ahmad's statements; because he didn't think I was alive and had introduced me as the commander.

When the helicopter took off, one of the people took me aside and said, “We want to throw you off the helicopter.” He pressed me several times to be more afraid. I did not pretend to be afraid. He repeated this several times until the helicopter landed and we got off. We got into a car. We were not allowed to talk at all. I think we got out of the car after five minutes. They took me to a room and opened my blindfolds. A number of officers and soldiers were standing, some of them not wearing military uniforms. They asked me to take off my clothes. The room was like an office. There was also a hospital table in a corner.

An old man who looked like a doctor was speaking in Arabic. Maybe he was a medical assistant. He said in a heavily accented Arabic, “I will cure you now. I do dressing in my own way. I do not believe in the use of painkillers and anesthesia. When you see my work method, you will understand my skill very well. Then you will admire me.”

After laying on the bed, some soldiers held me tightly. With what looked like a needle nose plier, he began to remove the bullets from my body, without local anesthesia. Each of the bullets had penetrated deeply into my body. About thirty hours had passed since the bullet hit me and my wounds had gotten cold. Removing bullets again caused my wounds bleeding much and I felt a terrible pain with all my heart and soul. For this reason, he ordered the soldiers to put a piece of cloth in my mouth so that I would not scream and my voice would not disturb them.

With every move, the old Jewish pseudo-doctor slapped me hard. With each bullet he took out and put in the container, he said, “We will take these bullets from your body, give them back to the factory to use it again in wars.”

He removed the bullets in my hand in the same way. I had a lot of pain in removing the bullet from my armpit and back; especially since it was known that he was doing these actions intentionally and only for torture. He did not bandage the wounds and would just put cotton on it and then glue it.

He also removed the bullet that hit my back; There were four bullets in total. Another bullet remained in my chest. I insisted not to take this one out again, as a sign of my grudge against their atrocities. For this, a small tube was placed in the same area where the bullet hit, so that the infection and blood would flow out of that tube. He also closed the tube with four stitches. The bullet remained there in my chest...

This was very painful for him. Whenever I wanted to escape from him, four soldiers would hold me tightly and the doctor would hit my head hard; as I became numb out of pain and the hit. When they saw I might die from bleeding profusely, they attached me another blood bag. I tried to sleep a little. But they would hit my head as soon as I napped, they would hit my head and wake me up.

When the blood bag was empty, they brought me a military uniform to wear. Before getting dressed, a man with a red beard, who was about fifty years old, came into the room. He had a small hat on his head and seemed an observant Jew. “Who did send you?”, he asked me. I did not answer. He cursed. I answered immediately. He said in Arabic, “I will see you in a few moments. We have a lot to do together.”

Then they put a black cloth bag on my head, which smelled like mud. They put again handcuffs on me and fettered. I realized I came out of the office. I could not see anything. Only from passing the stairs I realized that I had entered another area. I was taken to the interrogation room. They took the bag off my head. I saw the same Jew again.[2]


[1] Samir Qantar, while he was 17 years old, was captured in 1979 during an anti-Zionist operation in the Zionist city of “Nahariyya.” After enduring about 30 years of imprisonment and suffering a lot in that period, in 2008, he was delivered to Lebanon during the exchange of bodies of two Israeli prisoners between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah. In Lebanon, he was nicknamed “Captain of Prisoners.” Finally, in 2015, he died a martyr in the bombing of the Zionist regime's fighters in the suburbs of Damascus.

[2] Source: Tavakoli, Yaqoub (2015). Truth of Samir [in Persian: Haghighat-e Samir]. Sooreh Mehr Publication, p. 72.

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