Court: State Must Announce Release of Terrorists’ Remains 72 Hours in Advance

Hamas members stand guard outside a mural depicting a prison cell holding IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, Hy”d, captive in Gaza City, in 2015. (MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images)

The state must inform the public that it intends to release the bodies of terrorists 72 hours before it does so, the High Court ruled Thursday. The ruling came in response to a petition by the family of kidnapped IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, after the state attempted earlier this week to release the body of a terrorist who had died in an Israeli hospital.

The Goldin family petitioned the court several days ago, after it was made known that the state was planning to comply with a family request to retrieve the body of Aziz Awisat, who in 2014 was sentenced to 30 years in prison on ten counts of attempted murder. He was charged, among other things, with attempting to murder Yerushalayim resident Yosef Weisfisch with an axe in the center of the city. Bederech nes, Weisfisch said, Awisat missed – striking his axe at the victim’s head, but instead damaging only his hat, which, because it was sitting high on his head, had created an air pocket between its top and the head, thus causing Awisat to miss.

Awisat was also convicted of planning to blow up an office of the National Insurance in the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood using gas cannisters.

More recently, Awisat caused severe burns to a prison employee. Several months ago, the prisoner, who was 53 years old and in poor health, poured boiling water on the employee, and then used the teapot that he used to boil the water to beat the employee over the head with.

He was hauled back to court about two weeks ago and indicted on charges of attacking a public employee. Awisat then took ill and was hospitalized, where he died of complications due to a heart condition.

The Goldin family filed the petition in support of an order by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan not to release the body of Awisat. The court did not rule on releasing the terrorist’s body, but did rule that in the future the public must be notified when security prisoners’ remains are to be released, to allow for those who oppose the release to take legal action.

In a statement, the Goldin family said that they were “proud to stand alongside Minister Erdan, who has proven his commitment to carrying out Cabinet decisions to increase pressure on Hamas and terror groups until they release our children.”

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