Protest against terrorist release (file)
Protest against terrorist release (file)Flash 90

The Almagor Terror Victims' Association has sharply condemned the "astonishing step" taken by the Israeli government Thursday, after reports surfaced Thursday morning that Jerusalem released the bodies of the terrorists behind the Har Nof massacre for burial. 

Almagor noted in its statement that the government should have, in its view, at least emulated the US's practice in throwing the body of terrorist Osama Bin Laden into the sea, instead of covertly holding a funeral as was done overnight. 

"Tonight we discovered again the government's weakness and inability to stand up to terrorism, to take measures and fight criminal murder as bad as the incident in the Har Nof synagogue," Almagor stated. 

Yossi Zur and Ron Kerman, bereaved fathers and chief activists in Almagor, added that "in these times of primaries and elections, the Israeli public has seen exactly who the candidates are and will give an accounting at the polls."

"All ministers and members of the cabinet have to think how to fight terrorism and less how to create funny videos ahead of primaries," they fired, referring to a series of videos made by MKs Naftali Bennett, Danny Danon, and Moshe Feiglin

"It seems as if the state has stopped in its tracks, and concentrates on less important issues and has abandoned the protection of the public and the war on terror."

Almagor called to pass a law that would anchor the issue of returning the bodies of terrorists to their families in the legal system, so that the issue will not be subject to the discretion of the prime minister and defense minister.

"We must not abandon fighting terrorism, which also must be manifest in a complete ban on releasing terrorists, live or dead," they said. 

Ghassan and Uday Abu al Jamal, who carried out the massacre on a synagogue during morning prayers, killing four rabbis and one Druze policemen, were silently buried overnight Wednesday/Thursday in an Arab neighborhood cemetery in Jerusalem. 

Until now, the refusal to return the bodies had marked first time that the Israeli government had withheld bodies of the terrorists as a deterrent against future attacks. Terrorists normally are given funerals with their families in attendance, albeit usually with diminished fanfare and under tight security.