Bill to Prevent the Return of Terrorists' Bodies

MK Danon presents law to stop lavish funerals 'turning terrorists into heroes,' and to actually demolish terrorists' homes.

Shimon Cohen, Ari Yashar ,

Hamas flags at Arab rioter's funeral in Jerusalem
Hamas flags at Arab rioter's funeral in Jerusalem
Sliman Khader/Flash 90

Likud Central Committee Chairman MK Danny Danon is advancing a new bill to prevent Israel from returning the bodies of dead terrorists to their families and the Palestinian Authority (PA), in an attempt to deter terrorism and prevent the glorification of terrorists at their funerals.

Speaking to Arutz Sheva, Danon explained "we saw what happened recently when cruel terrorists turn into heroes and their funeral processions turn into recruitment processions for the next generation of terrorists."

So as to prevent the current arrangement from continuing, Danon is proposing to have the bodies of terrorists buried in unknown cemeteries.

"We've done it in the past for Hezbollah terrorists," reminds Danon. "We need to clarify to them that we are taking off the gloves and will act with an iron hand. This automatic practice of returning bodies needs to stop. We have to speak to them with the mentality that they speak."

In past cases, the bodies of some Hezbollah terrorists have been held by Israel only to be returned years later in various deals and trades.

When asked if the same might not occur with his bill, Danon responded that in the cases with Hezbollah terrorists their bodies were returned years later without any formalities of a lavish funeral, and without the terrorists becoming heroes. Likewise, he noted Israel received some kind of benefit in those reciprocal deals.

"Do real demolitions, expel terrorists' families"

Discussing other moves required to deter terrorism in the midst of the current wave of attacks, Danon said D-9 bulldozers should be sent out to destroy terrorists' homes the same day they commit an attack.

He pointed out this move is required instead of the symbolic "demolitions" seen recently, such as last Wednesday when instead of demolishing the home of an Arab terrorist who murdered a three-month-old baby and a young student with his car, only the terrorist's room was destroyed, allowing it to be quickly rebuilt.

Elaborating on his suggested policy, he argued that after a terrorist's home is demolished their family should be expelled to Gaza "without the body, without a funeral and without stipends."

Speaking about the legal battle being waged against the demolition of terrorists' homes, Danon remarked "the first responsibility is to the security of citizens of the state of Israel, and afterwards we have to deal with other issues."

Giving an example, Danon pointed out his recent bill to remove state-funded stipends from the parents of children who throw rocks in the near-daily Arab riots. He noted that the legal establishment in the past objected to penalizing parents for the crimes of children, but currently it has come around to recognizing such moves as legitimate.

"If the leadership is strong it pulls processes along in its wake. If it isn't strong the Attorney General will come and tell us 'that's unacceptable,'" said Danon.

In preparing his new bill against returning terrorists' bodies, Danon notes he spoke with security sources to ensure such a step would not escalate terrorist attacks beyond their current peak.

"Security people talk about the need for what is defined as 'tie-breaker means,'" said Danon, giving examples: "for those in Israel without permission, (it means) not to return them to their village in a taxi but rather to expel them to Gaza. (For those with) blue (permanent resident) identity cards, (it means) to negate them for those involved in terror, and the like."

Danon noted with approval that the bodies of the two Arab terrorists who committed the horrific attack on a Jerusalem synagogue in Har Nof last Tuesday have not been returned yet, "and I hope that the Prime Minister won't give them over."

If someone in the world complains against his bill blocking the return of terrorists' bodies, Danon poses to them the question: "where is the body of (former Al Qaeda leader Osama) Bin Laden?"

When asked about calls to bury suicide terrorists with pig skin so as to deter potential terrorists who believe pig skin prevents entrance to Muslim paradise, Danon noted he isn't familiar with such a proposal but that preventing the terrorists' families from holding a funeral is a step in the right direction, "and if there are additional angles we need to weigh them."