‘Deal to return east Jerusalem terrorists’ bodies underway’

Senior Palestinian sources confirmed Monday that an agreement to return the bodies of east Jerusalem terrorists killed in recent months to their families for burial is being hammered out.

Israel currently holds the remains of 10 terrorists. It has conditioned their return on low-key funerals, as the services held for terrorists killed since the current surge in violence erupted in October have often turned into public spectacles of incitement.

According to one Palestinian official, the families had agreed to hold night-time funerals for their sons, attended by close relatives only.

Palestinian media quoted several Ramallah officials as saying a deal has been reached.

According to reports, Israel is expected to release the bodies of two terrorist, both the residents of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras al-Amud, to the families on Tuesday nights.

Should the families keep their word and hold low-key funerals, the bodies of eight other terrorists will be returned as well.

Israel’s policy on the issue is inconsistent, mostly because it is subject to split ministerial jurisdiction: Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan decides on the return of remains of terrorists whose families reside in east Jerusalem, while Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon rules on the issue when it pertains to the bodies of terrorists from Palestinian Authority-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria.