Israeli authorities returned the bodies of Arab terrorists to their families and are preparing to return the bodies of even more terrorists - despite the Security Cabinet decision over two weeks ago not to return the bodies of terrorists in a deterrent measure.
Up until now the bodies of seven terrorists who were shot and killed while conducting attacks in the current wave of attacks this month were returned, before the stated policy shift earlier in the month.
However, a curve ball in that policy was revealed on Saturday night, when the bodies of another five terrorists were transported via Tarkumiya Crossing to Hevron in Judea, where they were received with fanfare in an official ceremony by the Palestinian Authority (PA), and with celebrations for the "martyrs" by local residents.
The decision to ban the return of the bodies had been intended to prevent just such occurrences, in which terrorists are further idolized in events that stir up the desire to conduct future attacks. Saturday's move apparently signifies the start of a new return to the policy.
Yisrael Beytenu chairperson MK Avigdor Liberman condemned the decision to return the bodies, saying, "the return of the bodies in opposition to the decision of the Cabinet is an invalid step meant to satisfy the terrorists, it's a type of ransom pay to those who threaten Israel."
"An embarrassing concession like this to the Palestinian threats not only does not bring quiet, but rather brings only an increase in the terrorism," he concluded.
Also condemning the move was the leftist Zionist Camp party, which mocked the move in a statement Saturday night: "Again the huge gap between the vocal declarations of the Netanyahu government and the actions on the ground are revealed."
"In a war against terror you need a clear and consistent policy. The zigzag on returning bodies gives a message of weakness."
Thousands of Arabs participated in the funerals of the terrorists in Hevron, and went on to riot and hurl rocks at IDF soldiers. The rioters waved Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) flags and the flags of other terror groups, and chanted "we will die but Palestine will live on."
The five terrorists included a female terrorist shot by a female Border Police officer at a base near Kiryat Arba two weeks ago; a female terrorist shot five days ago after trying to stab a soldier at Hevron's Cave of Machpelah; two terrorists who stabbed a soldier at the Peace House checkpoint in Hevron; and a terrorist who tried to stab a soldier in Hevron.