The Israel Police decided on Wednesday not to permit funerals and burials for terrorists from East Jerusalem in their neighborhoods or villages, but rather only in Muslim cemeteries of the police's choosing.
This decision comes following the funeral of the terrorist Alaa Abu Jamal several weeks ago that attracted some 200 persons to the Jabel Mukaber cemetery and wherein cries of support for the terrorist and incitement against Israel rang out. This stood in opposition to the agreements and promises of the family.
Following reporting on the funeral, Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan ordered a freeze on returning the bodies of terrorists to their families until the incident could be investigated and new conditions could be imposed to ensure funerals that would not contain incitement.
According to the new decision, which has received the minister's support and authorization, the police will decide the location of the funeral, which will allow full control over the attendees and their actions.
As a result of the police's decision, the lawyer Mohammed Mahmoud has filed a petition with the High Court of Justice on behalf of two terrorists' families whose bodies have yet to be returned.
One of those families is that of the terrorist Baha Aliyan from Jabel Mukaber, who carried out the terrorist attack in East Talpiot in which three Israelis were murdered. Aliyan became a symbol in Jabel Mukaber in particular and in the Palestinian arena in general. His father even has set out in a campaign to memorialize his son, lecturing on his son's "legacy" publicly in various forums, including at schools.
Erdan stated, "We mustn't allow shows of incitement and support of terrorism in the streets of Jerusalem, and a family that doesn't meet the requirements of the police doesn't need to receive the body to bury."
According to an investigation by the Israel Police's Jerusalem District following Abu Jamal's funeral, the results of which reached Ynet, the bodies of 38 residents of East Jerusalem have been returned to their families, and their funerals were held in accordance with agreements with the families: The bodies were returned around 1am, a 1.5-hour funeral was held with no more than 30 attendees who were family members only, and no incitement was noted.
According to the investigation, on the eve of Abu Jamal's funeral, a funeral bearing his corpse reached the village, and by 1am, 150 persons were gathered in the cemetery. At this stage, his family was informed that the body would not be returned in these conditions. As a result, the family appointed somebody to identify persons and only allow entry to those permitted.
The body was transferred to the ritual preparation area alongside the mosque. When it was being transferred, a large crowd gathered, and cries of "With blood and fire, we will avenge you, martyr," and "Allah akbar." The head of the Jerusalem District Police, Yoram Levi, decided to allow the funeral to continue rather than re-seize the body, and Erdan supported that decision.