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Israeli police: following incitement, Palestinian attackers not to be buried in their villages

June 8, 2016 9:16 P.M. (Updated: June 9, 2016 12:50 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli police decided on Wednesday that slain Palestinians from East Jerusalem accused of "terrorism" would no longer have funerals in their neighborhoods or villages, but would instead be buried in cemeteries chosen by the police, Israeli news agency Ynet reported.

The decision came following the funerals of Alaa Abu Jamal, 22, and Jama Hassan Manasra, 15, on May 24 after their bodies were held for over 7 months following two separate attacks they carried out in October that left three Israelis dead.

Prior to the funerals, Israeli authorities stipulated that no more than 40 people be allowed to attend, and that the families of Manasra and Abu Jamal pay deposits of 20,000 shekels ($5,176.65) and 40,000 shekels ($10,353.30) respectively to ensure compliance with Israeli conditions.

However, a crowd gathered outside of Abu Jamal’s funeral, chanting “God is great,” a phrase used regularly during Muslim funerals, as well as “with our souls, with our blood, we sacrifice ourselves for you, martyr,” a variation on a popular Arabic political slogan.

Following reports on the funeral, Israeli Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan ordered a freeze on returning the bodies of Palestinians killed while allegedly carrying out attacks to their families pending investigation into the incident, adding that new conditions could be imposed to ensure funerals would not contain what he regarded as “incitement” against Israel.

The new decision, which Ynet said had received Erdan’s support and authorization, means that Israeli police will decide the location of the funeral, in order to ensure full Israeli control over the attendees and the processions.

Erdan told Ynet that "we mustn't allow shows of incitement and support of terrorism in the streets of Jerusalem, and a family that doesn't meet the requirements of the police doesn't need to receive the body to bury."

As a result of the police's decision, Addameer attorney Mohammed Mahmoud filed a petition with the Israeli High Court of Justice on behalf of two alleged Palestinian attackers’ families from East Jerusalem whose bodies have yet to be returned.

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