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Israel failed to return Dalal Al-Mughrabi's remains, says sister

Aug. 3, 2009 9:51 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 4, 2009 3:21 P.M.)
Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israel failed to return a the corpse of slain Palestinian fighter Dalal Al-Mughrabi as promised as a part of last year’s Israel-Hizbullah prisoner exchange, the woman’s sister said on Monday.

Rashida Al-Mughrabi, speaking to Ma’an in Bethlehem on the eve of the Fatah convention, said, “We didn’t receive my sister’s body. What were sent to us by Israel was just dirt and stones inside the coffin.”

Dalal Al-Mughrabi’s name is synonymous with the 1978 attack in which she and 12 other Palestinians entered Israel from Lebanon, hijacked a bus and sparked a shootout with Israeli forces. Eleven of the hijackers and 35 Israelis were killed in the operation.

Al-Mughrabi’s remains were to be returned to Lebanon along with those of about 200 other Palestinians and Lebanese in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers who were captured and killed by Hizbulah at the outset of the 2006 war.

“There are about 300 dead bodies in Israel and I will strongly discuss this file during the conference,” Rashida Al-Mughrabi said.

Al-Mughrabi, like Khalid Abu Isba, one of the guerillas who survived the 1978 operation and is currently in Bethlehem, says she would like to stay in the West Bank if she can obtain an Israeli permit.

“We were promised by President [Mahmoud] Abbas to get a national number especially for those of us who are coming from Lebanon.” She added.
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