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Israel to return bodies of 4 Palestinians slain in July

Aug. 4, 2017 2:17 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 4, 2017 10:03 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities will return the bodies of four slain Palestinians back to their families in villages across the southern occupied West Bank on Friday afternoon.

The Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee said in a statement that Israeli forces will return the bodies of Ammar Ahmad Khalil, 34, from the Ramallah-area village of Kafr Ein, Muhammad Hussein Ahmad Tnouh, 26, from the Tuqu town in southeast of Bethlehem, Abdullah Ali Mahmoud Taqatqa, 24, from Marah Maalla in southern Bethlehem, and Rafaat Nathmi Shukri Hirbawi, 29, from Hebron city.

All four were killed by Israeli forces within the past three weeks.

The Mayor of Tuqu, Hatem Sabbah, said that Israeli forces will return the bodies of Tnouh and Taqatqa at 4:00 p.m Friday at the Husan checkpoint, west of Bethlehem City.

Sabbah added that after being returned to Palestinian officials, the bodies would be taken for examination at the Beit Jala Governmental Hospital before being given to the families for funeral proceedings.

Tnouh was killed by Israeli forces on July 20th in Tuqu after attempting to carry out a stabbing attack against Israeli soldiers, while Taqatqa was killed nearly a week ago near the Gush Etzion junction for allegedly attempting to carry out an attack on Israeli soldiers stationed in the area.

Hirbawi was killed on July 18 after carrying out a vehicular attack that injured three Israeli soldiers, while Khalil was killed in armed clashes with Israeli forces in the Ramallah-area village of Nabi Saleh on July 16.

The four were among 53 Palestinians killed this year by Israelis. In the same time period, 13 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians.

Scores of Palestinians have been killed in the past two years for attacks and alleged attacks on mostly armed Israeli forces, and during clashes with Israeli forces since a wave of unrest began in October 2015.

While Israeli leaders often point to Palestinian “incitement” as the cause of such cases, and often attempt to connect them to the so-called “war on terror,” Palestinians have instead cited the daily frustrations and routine Israeli military violence imposed by Israel's nearly half century occupation of the Palestinian territory as main drivers for such incidents.

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