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'No One Told Us Our Son's Murderer Was Being Released'

Bereaved families outraged after media - not government - informs them their relatives' murderers' bodies are being released.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 2/16/2014, 9:19 AM

Bodies transferred to the PA (illustration)
Bodies transferred to the PA (illustration)
Flash90

Bereaved families expressed shock and sadness over the government's ongoing plans to release more bodies of convicted terrorists to the Palestinian Authority (PA) to Ma'ariv Sunday, explaining that they had never been informed of the move ahead of time. 

The bodies of at least ten terrorists have already been released to the PA as a "gesture" of peace, according to the daily. A total of 36 bodies are to be transferred. 

One of them was Habash Hanani, a terrorist who killed three yeshiva high school students in the Samaria community of Itamar in 2002. The family of Gilad Stiglitz, a 14 year-old boy killed in that attack, watched with horror as they found out Hanani's body was released while watching a news broadcast on television about the lavish funeral he received in the PA. 

"No one thought to tell us. Where is the government's sensitivity?" family members asked. "This brings back painful memories. Why should we find out about this by seeing his [the terrorist's] funeral on television - the person who ruined our lives - in a ceremony fit for a king?" 

Shlomit Brot, Gilad's sister, also noted that the move prevented legal action from being taken over the transfer. Bereaved families have appealed over and over again the terrorist releases for prisoners who are still living, she reasoned; why not allow petitions over the transfers of terrorists who are not?

"Why didn't they give us a chance to turn to the High Court to protest the move?," Brot lamented. "They [the Israeli government] gave them [the PA] the bodies likes thieves, in the dead of the night. Such is life - we would never get him [Gilad] back - but to give a prize like this to terrorists?!" 

"Even if we accept a decision like this upon ourselves, there is a way of going about it," Brot continued. "We are talking about a coward who killed young boys. Behind every one of their stories is a family in pain. We should not give them the satisfaction of turning murderers into heroes." 

Other bereaved families have also come forward with claims that they were not informed that their relatives' murderers' bodies were being released to the PA. The surviving family of the Gavish family, who were murdered in Elon Moreh in 2002 by a Palestinian Arab infiltrator, echoed a similar story of surprise and heartbreak. 

"No one thought to tell us," a family member noted to the press. "We didn't even know the body [of the terrorist] had been buried."