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Body of Jerusalem attack suspect to be released at midnight

Nov. 5, 2014 7:26 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 6, 2014 10:28 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli court on Wednesday ruled that the body of Ibrahim al-Akkari, shot dead by Israeli forces after attacking pedestrians with a car, will be released to his family for burial later this evening.

The body is expected to be released between 11:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. and the court limited the number of mourners to 35.

Mohammad Mahmoud, a lawyer with prisoner rights group Addameer, said that the court denied a request by Israeli police to bury al-Akkari in Anata cemetery and allowed the family to bury him in al-Asbat cemetery.

Earlier Wednesday, al-Akkari drove a car at high speed into a group of pedestrians waiting at a light rail station in Sheikh Jarrah.

An Israeli border policeman, Jadan Assad, 38, was killed in the attack and at least 13 other Israelis were injured, two seriously.

Al-Akkari was shot dead after exiting the vehicle and trying to attack passers-by with an iron rod, witnesses said.

The attack was the second time in recent weeks that a Palestinian had struck Israeli pedestrians with a vehicle while they were waiting at a Jerusalem light rail stop.

The incidents have come amid rising anger and tensions in Jerusalem over an Israeli offensive on Gaza that left nearly 2,200 dead over summer as well as an arrest campaign in the city itself that left hundreds of Hamas-related individuals in prison.

Although Palestinians in East Jerusalem live within territory Israel has unilaterally annexed, they lack citizenship rights and are instead classified only as "residents" whose permits can be revoked if they move away from the city for more than a few years.

They face discrimination in all aspects of life including housing, employment, and services, and are unable to access services in the West Bank due to the construction of Israel's separation wall.

East Jerusalem is internationally recognized as Palestinian territory, but Israel occupied it in 1967 and later annexed it in a move never considered legitimate abroad.
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