Israel Stops Returning Bodies of Terrorists After Mass Funerals

May 26, 2016

< 1 min read

Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said on Tuesday that he would stop releasing the bodies of Palestinian terrorists after a funeral held Monday night included inciting rhetoric and support for terrorism, violating a previous agreement.

“The families lied to the High Court of Justice after they promised to obey the police demands,” Erdan wrote on his Facebook page. “It is a shame that the court believed them and put pressure on the police to return the bodies before the Ramadan month.”

Israel had agreed to release the bodies provided that the families consent to a modest, nighttime burial rather than a large funeral march that incites to violence and glorifies the “martyr.” On Monday night Israel returned the bodies of 3 terrorists, one of whom carried out a shooting attack in early March at the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City. The other two allegedly attempted a stabbing attack at a checkpoint in late April.

Two additional bodies were released by Israel this past Friday, including that of the terrorist who stabbed to death American tourist and US military veteran Taylor Force and injured at least 10 others on the Jaffa promenade in March, as US Vice President Joe Biden held a meeting nearby.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided in March to delegate the decision of whether to return terrorists’ bodies to Erdan’s Ministry of Public Security and to the Defense Ministry. The incoming defense minister, Avigdor Liberman, has taken a hard line against releasing the bodies of terrorists and harshly criticized Netanyahu a few weeks ago for allowing both ministries to do so.

“Netanyahu’s conduct is not just a disgrace, but also seriously undermines the deterrence of potential terrorists and encourages terror attacks,” Lieberman said, calling on the prime minister “to immediately resign.”

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