Israel has confirmed Wednesday it had buried the bodies of four West Bank terrorists who carried out attacks against Israeli targets in the enemy combatant cemetery near Damia Bridge in the Jordan Valley, the state revealed for the first time since the start of the current wave of escalation in the security situation during a High Court discussion.
The terrorists are: Abed al-Hamid Abu Srour, who carried out the suicide bombing on the number 12 Egged bus in Jerusalem 18 months ago; Mohammed Taraireh, who murdered 13-year-old Hallel Ariel in her home in Kiryat Arba a year ago; Mohammed Fakih, who murdered Rabbi Michael (Miki) Mark in a shooting attack on route 60 last year; and Brami Awartani, a Hamas operative from Nablus, who attempted a stabbing attack near the Hawara checkpoint a year ago.
Israel's admittance of the four terrorists' burials took place during a discussion in the High Court over a petition submitted by the terrorists' families, who are demanding the return of their bodies.
Attorney Mohammad Mahmoud, the families' advocate appointed by the Palestinian Authority's Prisoner Authority, protested that their burial implements the Security Cabinet's decision on the matter from months ago, despite the fact that the families' petition has yet to be decided on by the High Court.
The four terrorists were buried some three months ago. Neither their families nor the attorneys representing them in Israeli courts were made aware of this fact until Wednesday's discussion.
The idea to bury the terrorists in the cemetary for foreign enemy soldiers was spearheaded by Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan. Erdan had pitched this before but was rejected by then-Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon. A month ago, Erdan raised it again, this time before current Minister of Defense, Avigdor Lieberman, who agreed to Erdan's initiative and moved to implement it.
Elior Levy, Itamar Eichner, Elisha Ben Kimon and Yoav Zitun contributed to this report.