TEL AVIV – The Palestinian prisoner authority said Monday that Israel has agreed to hand over for burial the bodies of Palestinian terrorists killed while carrying out recent attacks on Israelis.
According to the Commission of Detainees Affairs, the first body to be released is that of a terrorist who carried out a shooting attack on a bus in Jerusalem.
The body of Muhammad Jamal al-Kalouti, 21, from Kafr Aqab in East Jerusalem, will be handed over on Wednesday.
The conditions for the release include a NIS 20,000 bail ($5,275) for the remains. The deposit will be returned to the terrorist’s family if the funeral adheres to guidelines set by the Israeli Authorities, which stipulates a 25-person limit.
The stipulation is to prevent mass rallies in support of Palestinian terror which often occur at the funerals of terrorists. Israeli officials, including Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, contend that such rallies incite further attacks against Israel. Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has argued in the past that returning the bodies prevents further escalations.
However, Haaretz reported Erdan’s concession that if the families agree to refrain from acts of incitement and hold a subdued funeral, the bodies may be returned to them.
Israeli authorities did not respond to the reports.
The decision to return the bodies was apparently made in response to a July order from Israel’s High Court of Justice asking Israel Police to explain why it was withholding the bodies of deceased East Jerusalem attackers and had not returned the remains to their families for burial.
The court gave police three weeks to deliver an explanation.
Prior to the ruling, the state had told the court that it had stopped releasing the bodies due to the “renewal of the wave of terrorism.”
The court had intervened earlier in the year when it demanded authorities return the body of a female Palestinian terrorist who was killed by Israeli forces when she carried out a failed stabbing attack on IDF soldiers.
The Israel Police are expected to deliver their explanation in the coming days.
Meanwhile, riots in East Jerusalem and the West Bank demanding the release of bodies frequently erupt, and posters of the dead terrorists are plastered all over the streets.