The body of Hanna Jalad, who arrived in Israel with her family after the IDF's withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, has been transferred to her home country for burial.
Jalad, 70, died over the weekend and her body has been kept in a Nahariya hospital since then. In her will, she asked to be buried in her birth place of Ain Ebel, a Christian village in southern Lebanon. Israeli security officials authorized the request and coordinated the body's transfer with the Red Cross.
Body handed over to Red Cross reps (Photo: Avisag She'ar Yeshuv)
Ayoob Kara (Likud), deputy minister of the development of the Negev and Galilee, assisted in coordinating the body's transfer to Lebanon. "In the past Israel has opened its gates in many humanitarian cases, but here we had to wait a long time, together with the grieving family, until we received authorization from Lebanon," he said.
"It is my estimation that international pressure convinced Hezbollah to withdraw its objection to the transfer of the body," said the deputy minister.
Jalad's family moved to Israel along with the families of other South Lebanese Army (SLA) officers.
The deceased woman's husband, children and grandchildren escorted the body to the border crossing at Rosh Hanikra, where some 100 people attended a ceremony in her honor. The family will not be able to attend the funeral.
The body was transferred to Rosh Hanikra from the Upper Galilee village of Gush Halav.
A few months ago a Druze doctor was brought to burial in Israel after living in Syria for the past 30 years. The doctor, Afif Jamal al A'aur, 50, was born in the Golan Heights village of Bukata. He was transferred to Israel via the Red Cross and was laid to rest in his native village.