Photo Credit: Hillel Maeir / TPS
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan

Nearly a day after the body of a terrorist who attempted to murder a Border Guard Police officer in Jerusalem was handed over to his family in the Arab Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm, Public Security MInister Gilad Erdan is calling for an investigation to find out why the body was returned.

In direct violation of an agreement made with Israeli authorities prior to receiving the body, the funeral of Ahmed Muhammed Mahameed, held overnight Monday into Tuesday, was attended by hundreds of people who chanted, “In spirit and blood we will redeem you, martyr.”

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The family received the body after submitting a monetary deposit and agreeing to limit the number of attendees as well as the duration, route and ceremony for the funeral.

“I expect the police the investigate the decision-making process,” Erdan said in an interview with Hadashot television news. “In my opinion the police shouldn’t have handed over the body until it was clear that the conditions established were going to be met.

“If [the terrorist’s body] was handed over, and this is what happened, the result is the police failed there,” he said.

In response to the violation, Israel Police appropriated the NIS 50,000 deposit submitted by the family as a guarantee they would abide by the terms of the agreement restricting the number of attendees at the funeral to 150.

But by Tuesday night, the family was telling a different tale.

“We didn’t commit to anything,” Mahameed’s uncle Jamal told Ynet. “The police said we had two hours to bury him from the moment we got the body back. We got him covered in blood and bullet holes,” he said.

Instead of 150 participants at the funeral, 1,500 came to join the procession held at 2 am, which was punctuated by live fireworks and calls for jihad against the State of Israel.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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