Israel starts returning terrorists’ bodies to families

The Israel Police said Monday morning that the first of ten bodies of terrorists who committed terror attacks in the recent wave of Arab terror had been returned to the family overnight.

The body of Ahmad Abu Shaaban was returned to his family in East Jerusalem. Shaaban’s body was supposed to be returned to his family last week, but hours before the handover was supposed to take place, the police told the family lawyer that “the handover of the body will be delayed.”

Shaaban was buried at night as stipulated in the conditions for the return of his body by the police. These conditions include the presence of no more than 50 people, a quiet burial in the dead of night, burial within three hours of the family receiving the body, and a NIS 20,000 deposit by the family to the police to be returned if all of the previous conditions are met.

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The rest of the bodies will gradually be returned under these conditions. In the wake of the reports on the intention to return the bodies to the families for burial, and the public outrage that followed, the handover was delayed by a few days.

Shaaban stabbed a 65-year-old woman at the Jerusalem Central Bus Station in the beginning of the current wave of terror. The woman sustained moderate injuries. After Shaaban’s body is returned, the body of Musa a-Razali, who attempted to stab a Jerusalem police officer in IDF square, is slated to be released.

The issue of the return of the bodies arose after three Arab Knesset members from the Balad party met with the families of these terrorists, and even stood for a moment of silence in their memory. The MKs promised the families to work with the relevant Israeli authorities to release the bodies and return them to their families. The families also met with Palestinian chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, where he too promised to work towards the return of the bodies.