Bodies of Terrorists Returned to Families Amidst Celebrations of Martyrdom

“Do not enter the house of mourning, or go to lament or grieve for them, for I have taken away my peace from this people, my steadfast love and mercy, declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 16:5)

Israel’s political echelon was outraged when the dead bodies of five Palestinian terrorists were received in the Palestinian Authority (PA) with celebrations, in violation of the PA’s pledge not to do so.

During a meeting of the Israeli diplomatic-security cabinet about a month ago, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan opposed returning the bodies of terrorists, but Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon insisted on it, arguing that keeping them was tantamount to “body trafficking” and could prompt further violence.

Ultimately, the cabinet agreed on a split policy: In Judea and Samaria, which is under the jurisdiction of the defense minister, Ya’alon will decide the fate of the bodies. In eastern Jerusalem and within the Green Line, Erdan would be the deciding figure.

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Appearing on Israel’s Channel 2, Ya’alon voiced disappointment that “the Palestinians did not live up to their word that there would be no celebrations.”

During funerals for the five terrorists, mourners waved Hamas and Fatah flags and called out, “In blood and fire, we will liberate Palestine!” After the funerals concluded, rioters began throwing rocks at IDF soldiers who, in turn, used riot dispersal gear to calm the situation.

With additional reporting by Israel Hayom

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