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Israel to release body of slain Palestinian woman for burial

April 26, 2017 10:02 P.M. (Updated: April 27, 2017 1:54 P.M.)
Siham Nimr and her husband. (File)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli authorities are set to release the body of a slain Palestinian woman on Wednesday night for burial, nearly a month after she was killed by Israeli forces when attempting to carry out a stabbing attack in the Old City of occupied East Jerusalem.

Siham Ratib Nimr, a 49-year-old resident of the northern East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras Khamis, was killed by Israeli police on March 29 after she attempted to stab police officers with a pair of scissors at the Old City's Damascus Gate. No Israelis were injured in the case.

Nimr was the mother of Mustafa Nimr, a 27-year-old Palestinian who was killed by Israeli forces "by mistake" in September during a night raid in the Jerusalem-area Shufaat refugee camp.

Thaer Fasfous, the spokesman for the Fatah movement in the Shufaat refugee camp, said that Israeli authorities would release Nimr’s body after 10 p.m. on Wednesday and allow her to be buried at midnight in the cemetery of the village of Anata in the occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem.

Fasfous said that Nimr’s body would be released on the condition that she be buried immediately, that only 50 people be allowed to attend the funeral, and that her family pay a 20,000-shekel ($5,493) fine.

When Israeli authorities have decided to return slain bodies and allow funerals in the occupied Palestinian territory, the ceremonies have been typically restricted by a long list of conditions, including limiting the number of attendees and the deployment of Israeli soldiers throughout the event.

Palestinian families have also been forced to pay large financial deposits to the Israeli government as a collateral for potential “incitement” during the funerals and to ensure that families abide by Israeli-imposed conditions.

Earlier this month, Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem condemned Nimr’s killing as "unjustified" given the barriers separating her from the Israeli soldiers she was purportedly aiming at.

“Given the officers’ protective gear and the means they had at their disposal, it stands to reason that they would have been able to subdue her and take her into custody without resorting to gunfire, let alone lethal gunfire,” the group said in a report.

According to Ma'an documentation, Nimr is the first woman to have been killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of the year.

A total of 19 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis -- 18 of them at the hands of Israeli armed forces -- so far in 2017.

Though Israeli forces have claimed that Palestinians were allegedly attempting to carry out stabbing attacks when they were killed in six of these cases, Palestinians and rights groups have disputed Israel's version of events in a number of cases, and argued that many alleged attackers could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner.
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