High Court Prevents Return of Terrorist’s Body to Gaza

Hamas tunnel
The brother of late Israeli soldier Oron Shaul is seen at a protest tent outside Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s residence in Yerushalayim in 2016. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The High Court on Thursday issued an injunction preventing the government from returning to his family the body of a terrorist who was killed after attacking IDF soldiers last week. The order is in effect until March 13th, when the state must show cause why it should return the body.

The injunction was issued at the request of the family of Hadar Goldin, Hy”d, the IDF soldier who was kidnapped and killed by Hamas during Operation Protective Edge in 2014. Hamas is still holding the remains of Goldin and fellow IDF soldier Oron Shaul, and the families of both soldiers have railed against the return of the bodies of terrorists as long as Hamas holds the remains of their loved ones.

The body in question us that of Ismail Abu Riala, a resident of Gaza who was killed in an incident off the Gaza coast by IDF soldiers after he tried to commit an act of terror. In a statement, the Goldin family said that the injunction “was more than a legal order – it was a moral order to the state, demanding that it stop rewarding terrorists and terror organizations, in opposition to international law. We must change the balance once and for all. Hostages cannot be allowed to be an asset, we must cause terrorists to feel as if they are a burden. We must make our enemies pay a price.”

Four Israelis are currently missing in Gaza. They include civilians Avram Mengistu and Hisham a-Said, along with fallen IDF soldiers Shaul and Goldin. The two went missing in August 2014, during Operation Protective Edge. Hamas has demanded the release of dozens of remains of terrorists in return for the release of the remains of Shaul and Goldin, and dozens of live terrorists in return for the release of the live Israelis. Israel in 2011 released 1,027 terrorists in exchange for Gilad Shalit, who had been held hostage by Hamas for over five years.