Daily Israel Report

Transfer of Bodies of Terrorists Met with Outrage and Fury

Almagor claims gov't is now "partners with the Palestinians in their glorification of terror, turning terrorists into martyrs and heroes."
By Annie Lubin
First Publish: 1/10/2013, 1:04 PM

Almagor head Meir Indor
Almagor head Meir Indor
Yoni Kempinski

A government policy regarding the transfer of bodies of terrorists has outraged Almagor, the organization which plays an active role in defending the families of victims of terror.

After discovering that the government of Israel, in a deal with the Palestinian Authority, intended to return most of the bodies of terrorists buried in Israel, the organization filed a petition to the Supreme Court, strongly opposing such a move.

The organization argued that if such a transfer is done, the PA will most likely hold grand funeral processions for terrorists who in their eyes are martyrs, all at the expense of the Israeli families who have already felt the unending pain of the atrocities carried out by these terrorists.

In a compromise, the organization asked the state to give the families of terror victims 48 hours notice prior to transferring the bodies of terrorists’ to the PA, based on a law from the 90's which obligated the state to give such notice to terror victims before transferring living terrorists to the PA.

In the simplest case, Almagor wants the families to be able to object the grounds of the transfer, both publicly and legally.

The government, represented by Oren Helman, claimed that throughout the years it continuously changes its policy regarding the burial of terrorists and murderers, and that the current argument is that the bodies of terrorists should be treated in the same way that casualties of war are handled, and should be returned to the other side. Israel, in the past, did not consider slain terrorists as entitled to inclusion in the category of soldiers.

After hearing both sides, the court accepted a compromise, which would allow the families of victims of terror to contact the Ministry of Defense and ask them to prevent the transfer of the bodies on a case by case basis.

Lt. Col. (Ret) Meir Indor, head of Almagor, was incensed by the decision and the judge who he claimed "refused to even accept the request of Attorney (Naftali) Wertzberger to transfer the bodies to the PA on the condition that they will not conduct lengthy funeral services that would hurt the Israeli families."

"The Israeli government and the High Court are now partners with the Palestinians in their glorification of terror and turning terrorists into martyrs and heroes. At this rate we'll soon see our ministers and judges sending representatives to these funeral services and the IDF Honor Guard will drape their guns next to these graves."