Two dead Arab stabbers have been sneaked out to their families despite a vote by Israeli ministers to withhold the bodies of those who carry out terror attacks in the country.
The funeral of 24-year-old Uday Hashim al-Ma’asalama was held at midday on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after he stabbed an IDF soldier in Hebron and was himself shot and killed.
A Palestinian Red Crescent Society ambulance arrived at the scene Tuesday immediately after the attack. Swiftly the Arab medics bundled Ma’asalama’s body into the vehicle and raced away towards the local hospital in Hebron. It is not clear whether the terrorist was alive at this point, or not.
IDF Spokesperson Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner told JewishPress.com in a telephone interview Wednesday evening that Israeli medics were focused on saving Jewish lives first.
“Red Crescent medical personnel arrived at the scene and quickly evacuated [Ma’asalama] to the local hospital in Hebron. No one knew that he was dead, if he was at that point,” Lerner said. “Our first priority is our wounded, and security,” Lerner said.
Nor was there any real concern there would be any problem in arresting and extracting Ma’asalama from the hospital to take him into custody once he was treated, assuming he was still alive. “We have gone into the medical center in Nablus before to apprehend a terrorist when that was necessary,” Lerner noted.
But once in the Hebron hospital, it took very little time for Masalama’s deceased body to disappear, and by Wednesday midday he was buried less than 24 hours after the attack with all due military honors, according to the Hebrew-language website rotter.net, which published a photograph of the funeral and numerous Arab media as well.
Thousands of Palestinian Arabs from the Hebron area towns of Dura, Beit Awwa and nearby villages took part in the funeral, shouting anti-Israel slogans and calling for “Palestinian unity,” according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news site. The killer’s body was carried on a litter by guerrilla fighters in combat fatigues marching after Arabs bearing large Palestinian Authority flags.
The new bill to withhold terrorists’ bodies, proposed by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, was intended to prevent just such funeral “celebrations,” which result in terror organizations heaping honors upon the departed and heavy recruitment of new members.
The return of the body of the first terrorist whose funeral was held earlier in the week was also the result of a similar mix-up, according to the spokesperson for Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.