Bereaved families fume over ruling on terrorists' bodies
High Court enrages families after ruling state cannot indefinitely hold on to bodies of terrorists without enacting a law; 'Again, the HCJ prefers to see to the wellbeing of the terrorists rather than law-abiding abide citizens,' says father of slain soldier.
The state currently holds the bodies of nine terrorist—seven of which have already been buried—among which are the bodies of those who carried out attacks in East Talpiot and Kiryat Arba, where the late Hallel Yaffa was murdered in her home about a year and a half ago.
One of the bodies currently being held by Israel is Fadi Ahmad Al-Qunbars, who in January carried out a truck-ramming attack in Jerusalem that killed four and wounded 18 in East Talpiot, also known as Armon Hanatziv.
The family of one of his victims, Shir Hajaj (22) from Ma'ale Adumim, who was an officers cadet, slammed the HCJ ruling, accusing it of favoring the terrorists over law-abiding Israelis.
“We are two weeks away from Shir’s memorial and we are mourning her. Unfortunately, the terrorists continue to celebrate the future funerals by dancing and giving out candy,” said the parents, Herzl and Merav Hajaj in an interview with Ynet.
“Again, the HCJ prefers to see to the wellbeing of the terrorists and not the wellbeing of the state and the citizens who abide by the law. It can’t be that the HCJ involves itself in matters of security. The HCJ repeatedly given support to terrorists.”
Lt. and Cadet Erez Orbach (20) from Alon Shvut, whose rank was posthumously elevated to 2nd Lt., was also killed in the brutal attack.
“I hope that the legislative authority will stand up to this challenge and formulate a comprehensive, legal arrangement in order to enable to continue holding of the terrorists’ bodies—dead or alive—according to the needs of negotiations,” said Orbach’s father, Uri.
He added that the legislation should send a clear message to the families of terrorists and to the Arab public that educating people to hate and to murder “harms them no less than it does us.
“All the while that our kidnapped and missing boys remain in their hands, we will continue to hold on to their bodies, dead or alive,” he repeated.
“Despite the fact that I personally miss Erez, I won’t break and I will continue to send the message that Erez left a dream behind that can be said in six words: ‘To be good and always improve.”
Also weighing in on the matter were the parents and families of the late IDF soldiers Lieutenant Hadar Goldin and Staff Sergeant Oron Shaul, whose bodies have remained in Hamas’s hands in Gaza ever since they fell in Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
“We expect the Israeli Knesset to act as soon as possible in accordance with the HCJ’s instructions and legislate a law that enables us to keep every bargaining chip in our hands,” said Shaul’s brother, Aviram.
“Do not give the enemy gifts while Oron, a Golani fighter who was sent to protect Israeli citizens and who has been held by Hamas for more than three-and-a-half years.”