Netanyahu to Defense Minister: Do Not Return Terrorists’ Bodies to Palestinian Authority

Mourners carry the body of Qassem Abu Ouda, a Palestinian who was shot dead following reported attacks on Israelis, during his funeral on March 15, 2016 in the West Bank town of Hebron.

TEL AVIV – The bodies of Palestinian terrorists will no longer be returned to their families, in accordance with a new policy set by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu on Monday ordered Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to halt the transfer of terrorists’ bodies to the Palestinian Authority out of the belief that the “hero funerals” held in the terrorists’ honor only incite more violence.

Ya’alon, however, believes that retaining the bodies has the exact opposite effect, contributing to the escalation of violence.

Palestinian terrorists who are killed by Israel forces are often given mass funerals in which their bodies are paraded through their home towns while they are hailed as martyrs.

In one instance earlier this year, hundreds of masked Hamas terrorists fired guns in the air at a massive funeral in Jerusalem.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan instructed police not to return the bodies of Arab terrorists from Jerusalem unless the families agree to a series of conditions regarding the funeral.

On a number of occasions, the police have held on to the bodies of Israeli-Arab terrorists while the IDF returns West Bank assailants to their families. That policy will now end with Netanyahu’s latest announcement.

Over a period of six months, more than 120 Palestinians have been killed executing stabbing, shooting, and car-ramming attacks against Israelis, claiming 34 lives including two Americans.