Arab MKs proposes bill to limit Israel’s holding of terrorist bodies

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is advancing a bill to suspend members of Knesset who express support for terrorism, the Arab Joint List is proposing legislation to limit the time Israel could hold bodies of terrorists.

Arab MKs Ahmad Tibi and Osama Saadi presented a bill to prevent Israeli authorities from holding onto bodies of any person, whether they’re Israeli citizens or foreign nationals, for more than five days after they have been identified. The bill demands to return bodies of individuals to their families, even if they carried out or contributed to terrorist attacks.

While the Arab Joint List members understand that the Knesset will almost certainly not pass the bill, they decided to propose it nevertheless in order to send a message that they will continue to work on this issue, despite harsh public criticism and the reprimand of the Knesset’s Ethics Committee.

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The proposed bill states, “Failing to hand over bodies to their families is patently immoral and constitutes punishing innocent people.” Moreover, “Israel started holding bodies in the 1970s. This act represents the Israeli authorities’ disrespect for Palestinians even after their death.”

The bill proposal goes on to say that “Holding onto the bodies prevents the performance of religious rituals and tradition regarding burial and makes the process of coping with the loss increasingly more arduous.”

The bill also calls for the family to bear responsibility for burying their loved one in accordance with their wishes and beliefs.
“Holding on to the bodies and humiliating a Palestinian is a morally corrupt act and a violation of natural justice,” Tibi said.

“Palestinians are oppressed in life and in death. The goal of the bill is to end this abuse against the deceased and their families.”