The Defense Ministry handed over to the Palestinian Authority (PA) the bodies of eight Arab terrorists who carried out recent terror attacks and were neutralized by security forces.
Seven bodies were transferred to the PA at the Bethany (Al-Eizariya) checkpoint, as the terrorists were residents of the Ramallah area of Samaria. The body of another terrorist was transferred to the PA in Qalqilya.
Israel still holds another twenty-five terrorists’ bodies. It is projected that the bodies will be returned gradually and in accordance with the agreements between the Israeli security forces to those of the PA.
The Ministry of Defense expressed that this process goes in accordance with the worldview that there is no purpose in holding these bodies and that if held, it could provoke unrest in the Palestinian street.
However, this position contradicts the security cabinet’s decision to not deliver the bodies of terrorists as a means of deterrence, and in fear that the funerals are sparking a wave of incitement and provocation for other terrorist acts.
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel expressed his criticism to Arutz Sheva in regards to Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon’s decision to return the bodies. He said the action was confusing, and reflected weakness towards the Palestinian side, and that the weakness brings more terror.
Following their debate, it was decided that Minister Ya'alon would be allowed to pursue his policy of returning the bodies to the PA when it involves terrorists from Judea and Samaria, areas that remain under military jurisdiction since Israel has yet to annex them.
However, the policy prevents the return of the bodies when it comes to terrorist inhabitants of Jerusalem, which is under full Israeli rule.