On Saturday, Abdel Fattah al-Sharif, a terrorist who was shot and killed after he stabbed an Israeli soldier in March, was buried in Hebron.
In the incident, al-Sharif and another Arab stabbed an IDF soldier in the city of the Patriarchs, or Hebron. Soldiers opened fire, killed the accomplice and wounded al-Sharif. Controversy arose when IDF medic Sgt. Elor Azaria shot and killed al-Sharif after he had already been shot and was laying on the ground.
Israel returned al-Sharif’s body to his family on Friday.
The funeral was attended by approximately 1,000 people and was broadcast on Hamas channel Al-Quds TV. Al-Sharif’s body was covered in a Hamas flag. The procession was accompanied by shouts condemning Israel.
Sgt. Azaria was indicted last month for manslaughter and inappropriate military conduct for shooting and killing al-Sharif. His lawyers claim that Azaria shot al-Sharif because he believed the terrorist was about to detonate an explosive vest. The trial has attracted criticism from other countries and become the focus of a major controversy in Israel.
Last week, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan ordered police not to return the bodies of terrorists from East Jerusalem. Funerals of terrorists have become scenes of mass incitement and Israeli authorities decided to return bodies after families agreed to private funerals with no incitement. Erdan’s decision came in the aftermath of the funeral of Alla Abu Jamal, a terrorist who had carried out a car-ramming and stabbing attack in Jerusalem in October that killed Rabbi Yeshayahu Krishevsky. Jamal’s family agreed to the conditions but did not honor their commitment.