IDF Chief of Staff to Cabinet:
'Returning the terrorists' bodies was a mistake'

IDF chief admits that return of terrorists' bodies on Friday 'not executed according to established procedures. Issue under investigation.'

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Gadi Eizenkot
Gadi Eizenkot
Flash 90

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot took part Wednesday in a meeting of the Political-Security Cabinet, admitting to cabinet ministers that the return of the terrorists’ bodies over the weekend was a mistake.

According to a report by Dana Weiss on Hadashot 2, Eizenkot told the members of the group that "The matter is being investigated. The procedures have been changed so that the event will not repeat itself."

Last Friday, before the Sabbath began, the IDF returned to the PA the bodies of two terrorists who carried out attacks in Israel.

One of the bodies is that of Nimer Al-Jamal, who murdered three Israelis in Har Adar in September.

The second body is that of Hamzeh Zamaareh, who stabbed a security guard in the Gush Etzion community of Karmei Tzur last week, lightly wounding him.

On Sunday, the family of slain IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, whose body is being held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, submitted an urgent petition to the Supreme Court demanding an interim order regarding the government's decision to release the bodies of terrorists who carried out attacks against Israeli citizens, police, and soldiers, following a Supreme Court hearing on the matter on Thursday.

The family based the petition on the decision of the political-security cabinet of January 2017, stating that Israel will hold bodies of terrorists who "carried out a particularly exceptional terrorist incident" and "terrorist bodies belonging to Hamas."

The Goldin family noted that since the cabinet decision was made, the government has returned the bodies of terrorists several times, including last Friday.

The family asked the Supreme Court to instruct the government to provide a 72-hour warning before it returns bodies of terrorists who carried out attacks and to fully implement the cabinet's decisions regarding release of bodies.

"Netanyahu and the cabinet leave us no choice but to turn to legal aid so that weakness and submission to terror, and every return of a terrorist's body is an abandonment of IDF fighters and Israeli citizens.

“Last Thursday, the State Prosecutor stood up and announced that Israel would carry out the cabinet decision not to return bodies. Just before the Sabbath, under the radar, the bodies were returned like thieves in the night. After the State Attorney declared in the Supreme Court that they would not return them, then that's what they did."

On Monday evening, the Supreme Court decided that it would hold an additional hearing on the Goldin family petition.

In addition, the court ordered that no further bodies of terrorists be returned until the next hearing, scheduled to take place in the month of June.