Israel returns militants’ bodies to families

Jerusalem, Dec 26 (IANS) The Israeli government released bodies of two Palestinian militants from east Jerusalem who carried out a terror attack in a Jerusalem synagogue a month ago, Israeli media reported.

Ghassan and Oday Abu Jamal, two cousins from east Jerusalem’s Jabal Mukaber neighbourhood, killed four worshippers and a policeman a month ago, attacking them with axes and rifles.
Israeli authorities kept the bodies since then and refused to relinquish them, claiming it would deter future militants from conducting such attacks.
A legal advisor for the Israeli police notified the lawyer of the families of the militants that the decision not to release the bodies was a “deterring factor that would reduce the motivation to carry out terrorist attacks”, Xinhua reported citing Ha’aretz daily.
The daily reported that the families notified Israeli authorities their plan to appeal their decision Tuesday and that early Thursday the lawyer was notified that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to release the bodies to the families for burial.
After the Nov 18 attack on the synagogue, Israel’s Interior Minister Gilad Erdan canceled the residency permit of Ghassan Abu Jamal’s widow, stripping her of financial and social aid and health insurance for their three children.
Demolition orders were also issued for the houses of the militants, but the houses have not yet been razed.
On Tuesday, the National Insurance Institute announced it would reinstate the health insurance of Ghassan’s children.