Israel returns terrorist's body despite policy

Body of Kiryat Arba stabber returned to Palestinians, contradicting cabinet decision; public security minister says families turn funerals into pro-terror rallies.

Despite the fact that the security cabinet circulated a message to the media this week that Palestinian terrorists’ bodies would not be returned to their families, Israe hasl returned the body of Iyad Al-Awawda, who dressed up as a press photographer and stabbed a soldier near Kiryat Arba.



The funeral of the attacker, a resident of Dura, near Hebron, was held Saturday afternoon.


Al-Awawda's funeral on Saturday
Al-Awawda's funeral on Saturday


On Friday, the Ministry of Public Security issued the following statement to the press: "For your information: The cabinet approved last night a proposal by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan not to return the bodies of terrorists killed during their attempted attacks. Also, Minister Erdan’s proposal to bury those terrorists in cemeteries belonging to the IDF that are at the outskirts of the state where terrorists were buried in the past will also be considered."


The statement added a quote from Erdan: "The terrorist's family turns the funeral into a rally supporting terrorism and an incitement to murder and we must not allow this. We must do everything so that the terrorist does not receive honor or ceremonies after carrying out an attack.”


Nevertheless, the terrorist's body was returned and was buried in a ceremony on Saturday. A security official explained the discrepancy between the statements and the actions on the ground: "There was a one-time misunderstanding. The cabinet decision is binding. In the meantime terrorists’ bodies will not be returned and they will remain frozen until a decision is taken on the timing of delivery."


The security establishment ohas opposed Erdan’s proposal to bury them in military cemeteries for terrorists. The issue has yet to be decided upon.


At the cabinet meeting, a fierce debate broke out between Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Minister Erdan. Erdan claimed that the return of the bodies had to be stopped, as despite the existing procedure whereby the terrorist's family receives NIS 30,000 to guarantee that there will be no disturbances, the funerals effectively become a show of support for terrorism and incitement. Erdan said in the meeting: "I will not return bodies,"


Ya'alon objected and said he did not think this was useful. Eventually it was decided that in the meantime, Israeli police will keep the bodies, and indeed Israel has retained several bodies in refrigerators awaiting transfer to the IDF’s terrorist cemetery.


"The defense establishment believes Israel should keep the bodies until the time is right to transfer them for burial where they resided," said a government source. "Their bodies are not assets. They do not constitute any part of negotiations about returning the bodies of our soldiers (as opposed to bodies of Hamas terrorists from Gaza). These bodies don't interest the terror organizations."


"I initiated a cabinet proposal not to return bodies to terrorists' families because part of that these terrorists want is respect and recognition, and their funerals turn into a source of incitement and of disturbances," Minister Erdan told Ynet.


"My remarks applied to bodies that are in the Israeli Police's hands, and the prime minister, as I recall, said in the cabinet that they accept the approach. According to what you published, the body that was returned was a resident of the West Bank and not one that the police possesses, and I suggest addressing questions to the Defense Ministry."


פרסום ראשון: 10.18.15, 13:45
 new comment
This will delete your current comment