Police: terms of Jerusalem terrorist's funeral violated
Deposit of NIS 50,000 to be taken by police from the family of Ahmad Muhammad Mahamid who was shot dead in the Old City on Friday while trying to stab a cop; police say 1,500 people attended funeral, despite restriction of 150, as crowds chanted 'in spirit and blood we redeem the martyr.'
As part of the terms, police placed a restriction of 150 on the number of people permitted to attend the funeral, but 1,500 showed up to the procession, which was also marked by the launching of fireworks.
As a result, the police said that they will demand NIS 50,000 from the terrorist’s family.
“As part of keeping the peace for the public and ensuring its security, and in order to guarantee public order, the Israel Police decided, in accordance with the law, on conditions that allow for transferring the body of the terrorist to his family to conduct a funeral in Umm al-Fahm,” a police statement read.
“As mentioned, the terms of the order, which were set up by the police, were allegedly violated illegally last night after many hundreds participated in violation of the order that defined and delineated the funeral times, the route through which his body was carried, the number of participants (up to 150 family members) and so forth.”
The statement went on to say that the conditions for holding the funeral were decided upon by the police with the family and not as part of a judicial process involving the High Court of Justice or negotiations with advocacy groups representing the family.
“Due to a failure to implement the terms, the police opened an investigation on suspicion of non-compliance and breach of an order and shall act to take the monetary deposit, in accordance with the provisions of the Law,” the statement concluded.
Israel transferred 30-year-old Mahamid’s body to his family at 1:30am and fireworks were immediately launched in honor of the occasion.
During the funeral procession, participants called out slogans such as: “We will sacrifice our lives for the shahid (martyr) and the hero."
Israel often sets conditions and restrictions on the funerals of terrorists to avoid processions descending into incitement gatherings, as they have done in the past.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman also addressed the events of the funeral. “You ask yourselves why Umm al-Fahm should be part of Palestine and not Israel? The sight of hundreds of people participating in the funeral of a terrorist with a Palestinian flag, and calling for ‘in spirit and blood we redeem the martyr’ gives you a final answer to the question,” Lieberman said.
“The plan which I publicized many years ago for territorial and population swaps is more relevant than ever,” he said.
Ali Mahamid, a relative of the terrorist and a resident of Umm al-Fahm, said that the body should have been transferred after he was shot.
“The police delayed the transfer in order to torture the family. From our point of view, Ahmad is a hero and a martyr. Today we have Eid al-Adha (Festival of the sacrifices). Now we are even happier after we turned the funeral of a martyr into a dignified and historic procession,” Ali said.
Another relative repeated the claim that had been made by the family that Mahamid had a history of mental illness, and had attempted to commit suicide on several occasions in the past.
“The police murdered him in cold blood on the spot. Instead of shooting him in the leg, they gave him a field sentence and killed him,” the relative said about Mahamid, who had not history of security-related crimes.
“In my opinion, a special committee should be established to check the conduct of the police in the field. Yesterday, they murdered Ahmad, tomorrow they’ll murder more people.”
A day after the attack, Mahamid's family told Ynet that he is not a terrorist but a sick individual with serious mental health issues.
"He suffers from a mental illness and he tried several times to commit suicide. We did not know he was in the Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday, he never usually goes there,” said Ahmad’s brother Naseem, in an interview.
Three people suspected of involvement in the stabbing were released to house arrest on Tuesday for a week following their hearing on Sunday on the extension of their remand, despite opposition by the police.