AG: No Reason Not to Return Terrorists’ Bodies

Avihai Mandelblit. Photo by Emil Salman/POOL
Israel Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit. (Emil Salman/POOL)

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has issued a legal opinion stating that plans by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to withhold the bodies of terrorists killed by security forces in the course of terror attacks “has no legal basis,” and could be considered excessive if brought before the courts.

Liberman announced the plan to withhold the bodies of terrorists as part of an overall plan to fight Palestinian terrorism. The step is being taken to prevent use of dead terrorists’ bodies as an excuse to riot and incite others to carry out even more attacks. Among the possibilities for disposition of the bodies would be burying them in a special Israeli cemetery, according to the plan.

In his opinion, Mandelblit said that Liberman’s stance “was not timely,” and according to many security officials, not necessary at this time. “At this time the conditions required for such action do not justify preventing return of the bodies.” Mandelblit suggested instead that security forces take steps to prevent funerals from turning into riots.

Liberman’s office has not yet responded to the statement.