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Israel withholding bodies of alleged Palestinian stabbers

02 November 2015, 08:16

Tel Aviv - Bodies of dead Palestinian attackers will not be handed over to their families if the Palestinian Authority does not guarantee that calm is preserved during their funerals, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon warned on Sunday.

Israel has demanded that funerals be conducted late at night and with attendance limited to family members. This policy, officials say, should keep the attackers from being glorified and reduce the numbers of instances in which attendees throw stones and petrol bombs at Israeli security forces.

Thousands marched on Sunday in two towns near Hebron, participating in the funeral processions of two Palestinians whose bodies were handed over by Israel late Saturday.

Hebron Governor Kamel Hamid, in a speech during one of the funerals, said that the Palestinian leadership would not accept Israel's terms for the delivery of bodies of "martyrs”.

On Friday night, Israel handed over to their families the bodies of five alleged teenage knife attackers, who were shot dead while reportedly stabbing or trying to stab Israeli soldiers at roadblocks in the area.

Thousands attended their funerals in Hebron on Saturday. Clashes broke out afterwards.

But the bodies of most other Palestinians killed amid dozens of knife attacks against Israelis since October 3 are still in Israeli control.

"If our condition for quiet funerals is met we will continue to return [bodies]," Yaalon told reporters on Sunday.

But if calm was not maintained, bodies will not be handed over and may even be buried at an anonymous cemetery in Israel, he warned.

On Sunday, Israeli soldiers shot dead another Palestinian during violent clashes in Hebron. They said he attacked them with a knife.



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