Thousands Attend Funerals of Har HaBayis Terrorists

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli security forces near the scene where two Israeli police officers were killed on Har HaBayis, July 14. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Thousands of residents of Umm el-Faham attended the funerals of the three terrorists who murdered Israeli police officers Ha’il Satawi and Kamil Shanan in the Har HaBayis terror attack two weeks ago Friday – with the funeral “very similar to that of Palestinian terrorists in places like Shechem and Chevron,” witnesses told the NRG news site. “Palestinian flags were everywhere, and speakers and crowd members repeated the term ‘martyr’ regarding the terrorists over and over,” the witnesses said.

The funerals were made possible after the High Court ruled Tuesday that the bodies of the three terrorists must be returned to their families. Muhammad Jabrin, 29, Muhammad Abd-Allatif Jabrin, 19, and Muhammad Ahmed Mafdel Jabrin, 19 – all relatives from Umm el-Faham – were the terrorists who killed Satawi and Shanan and took refuge in mosques on Har HaBayis, setting off a chain of events that led to two weeks of unrest following Israel’s placement, and subsequent removal, of security measures at the entrance to Har HaBayis. Police had refused to release the bodies, as they were terrorists, but the court ruled that as the three were Israeli citizens, police could not hold the bodies and were required to release them for burial, as would be the case for any Israeli citizens.

Police do have the right to set conditions on the funerals, such as limiting the number of attendees – but such conditions were nowhere in sight Wednesday night as the funerals took place. The plaintiffs demanding the release of the bodies before the court – including family members, the mayor of Umm el-Faham, and United Arab List MKs Yussef Jabbarin and Osama S’aadi – promised the court that the funeral would be “low key,” but that promise was not kept. Besides the Palestinian flags and cries of praise for their actions, the coffins of the three were feted with gunshots, customary among Arabs celebrating an event.

Speaking on Army Radio Thursday, the fathers of the slain police officers – Kamil Shanan and Ha’il Satawi – condemned the funeral. “These people are not ‘martyrs,’ but savages who murdered in cold blood. The government should not have allowed a funeral like this to take place, and it is a shame they did. Our sons were the heroes, not the low terrorists.” They stressed, however, that they were not seeking revenge against the families of the murderers.

Commenting on the decision to release the bodies, Jewish Home chairperson MK Shuli Muaellem Refaeli said that “the High Court is once again interfering in the decision-making process of the security establishment. These terrorists not only murdered Israeli police officers, but also created a major international diplomatic incident. Returning the bodies will allow the terror organizations to turn the funerals into a carnival of anti-Israel incitement and their graves into an inspiration for further attacks.”