Israel overnight Monday returned to their families the bodies of two more terrorists from Yerushalayim. The male and female terrorists had earlier this year attempted to stab Border Guard officers, and were shot and killed in the attempt.
One of the two terrorists, Muataz Awisat, 16, was a resident of the Jabel Mukhaber neighborhood in Yerushalayim. He attempted to stab Border Police officers in Armon Hanatziv in Yerushalayim last October, but was shot dead before he managed to harm anyone.
The second terrorist, Fadwa Abu Tir, a 50-year old resident of Umm Tuba, an Arab village incorporated in the city of Yerushalayim. In March, Abu Tir attempted to stab Border Police officers in Yerushalayim’s Old City, but was shot dead in the midst of the attempted attack.
The action was further evidence that Israel had shelved its former policy of not returning the bodies of terrorists to families, implemented late last year because of the incitement-filled funerals that were held for them. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan was opposed to the return of bodies to prevent the funerals of the terrorists from turning into shows of “martyrdom,” where their actions are lauded and others are further influenced to carry out attacks, he said.
Erdan’s stance was opposed by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who believes that keeping the bodies agitates the atmosphere even further. With quiet understandings, Yaalon earlier this year implemented a program in which bodies of terrorists who live in Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Yehudah and Shomron were returned to families, with funerals held quietly among family members. The policy is now apparently being applied to terrorists from Yerushalayim, which Erdan had also opposed.
According to the rules imposed by Israel, terrorist funerals must take place at night, with no more than 30 people in attendance, and no media coverage or photographers allowed.