Last week the Israeli Supreme Court issued a decree to show cause against the state prosecution, to explain why it would not release for burial the bodies of terrorists who committed violent crimes in Israel. Recently the Netanyahu government has adopted a policy whereby those bodies are not released automatically and are being kept at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Abu Kabir.
This renewed demand by the high court came following an earlier ruling where the court had ordered the bodies of terrorists be released in exchange for families’ commitment to conduct quiet funerals, without anti-Israeli incitement. The judges approved of the requirement seeing as the hearing was held during the holy month of Ramadan, when Arabs have customarily expressed their religious feelings through rioting in the streets and throwing stones and firebombs at innocent civilians.
But the reality of those cases has been a complete reneging of every commitment made by the families in almost every instance. A funeral that was conducted for terrorist Ala Abu Jamal from Jabel Mukaber, who carried out a bloodthirsty attack on Malkhey Israel Street in downtown Jerusalem, quickly deteriorated into a massive riot. As Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan later put it, “The terrorist families simply lied to the high court. It’s a shame that the court chose to believe them and pressured police to hand over the bodies before Ramadan.”
Interestingly enough, the terrorists’ families are using exactly that argument in their newest appeal to the high court, saying that since Ramadan is long over, there’s no more justification to release the bodies. Essentially, the Arab petitioners are saying that Arab funerals have always been huge and riotous, rife with incitements against israel, so why stop now?
According to NRG, Jerusalem Police this week approached the family of Baha Alyan, who carried out a murderous attack on a bus at the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood, to negotiate the body’s release. Police offered to hand over the body in exchange for a late night funeral, with only 15 people present. The family eventually refused those terms and police pulled back their offer.