In a much-belated decision, on Wednesday outgoing Defense Minister Benny Gantz announced that the body of the terrorist Nasser Abu Hamid, murderer of seven Jews and Arabs and a founder of Fatah’s Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, will be kept in Israel and not be transferred to the Palestinian Authority.
The announcement follows a Cabinet decision from two years ago whereby Israel would hold on to the bodies of dead terrorists until Hamas releases the bodies of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin who were killed in Gaza in 2014, as well as two living Israeli citizens.
Gantz’s decision ignores the fact that Abu Hamid was a Fatah man while the soldiers’ bodies are held in Hamas captivity.
A Hamas spokesman on Tuesday accused Israel of violating international law by refusing to release the body.
Abu Hamid, who was close to the terrorist leader and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s heir apparent Marwan Barghouti, died on Tuesday from terminal cancer at the Shamir (Assaf Harofeh) Medical Center in Be’er Ya’akov.
In 2002, when he was 22, Abu Hamid was indicted at the Jerusalem District Court for his involvement in a series of attacks and murders of Jews, for which he was sentenced to life imprisonment. There were 13 different counts, including the murder of the Kahana couple, planting a bomb in the Bianchini cafe in Jerusalem, the murder of Gad Rajoan in Atarot, and the attack on the Sea Food Market in Tel Aviv.
Chairman Abbas said in a statement that Abu Hamid was “martyred as a result of the policy of deliberate medical negligence” and held the Israeli occupation responsible.
Abbas announced that “we will launch a broad international campaign to put everyone before their legal and historical responsibilities in order to provide protection to the defenseless Palestinian people in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip,” adding that it is unacceptable for the world to continue its silence and turn a blind eye to the Israeli crimes.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held Israel fully responsible for the death of Abu Hamid, suggesting he died “as a result of the policy of deliberate medical negligence and deprivation of basic rights, practiced by the Israeli prison administration against prisoners.”
The OIC called for “an international commission of inquiry to investigate this new crime, which is only the latest in the series of Israeli crimes perpetrated against the Palestinian people, including prisoners.”
The only question remaining is, why did Gantz wait two years to start applying his own correct decision?