New Rules to Prevent Terrorist Funerals From Turning Into Riots, Ministers Say

Arabs called for revenge against Israel at the mass funeral of Adel Fattah Al-Sharif, who attempted to stab IDF soldiers in Chevron before being shot down by soldier Elor Azarya in 2016. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90, File)

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan on Wednesday published a new plan that would adjust laws regulating security measures at funerals of terrorists. The measures are designed to reduce the possibility that a terrorist’s funeral would be used as a focal point for rioting or incitement to further violence against Israelis.

The new rules would allow police to hold back the delivery of the remains of terrorists to family members until they comply with conditions set by the police to ensure that funerals do not turn into mass incitement events. Until those conditions are met, police will hold terrorists’ remains, and if they feel that there is the possibility that an agreement could be violated, they will be able to hold the remains indefinitely, until they are convinced that the funeral will be nothing more than a funeral.

The conditions involve limiting the number of participants, requiring identification of those who will be participating in order to keep away known incitement agents and terrorists, and the ability to set the time and route of the funeral, such as requiring a funeral to be held at night, without a procession proceeding through a town or village. Under certain conditions, police will be able to decide on the site of a burial. The rules would apply to funerals of terrorists who are Israeli citizens; PA Arab terrorists whose remains are held by Israel are already subject to similar rules.

According to Shaked and Erdan, “Israel is committed to the security and safety of all its citizens, and as such it must act against threats of terror. With that, it must keep a balance between the tools it deploys for effective action to ensure security with the principles of democracy and human rights. These rules accomplish that,” they said in a statement.

The new rules were prompted by the events at the funerals of three murderers of Israeli police officers Ha’il Satawi,and Kamil Shanan. The Israeli officers were murdered in the Har HaBayis terror attack last July, and the terrorists were given a mass funeral in Umm el-Faham, where they lived, that was replete with anti-Israel slogans, Palestinian flags, and speeches inciting Arabs to commit more acts of terror.

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