Funeral in eastern Jerusalem
Funeral in eastern Jerusalem Reuters

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman instructed the IDF Thursday to desist from its policy of handing over terrorists’ bodies to the Palestinian Authority for burial.

His instruction was given despite the recommendation of the IDF and the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) to return terrorists’ bodies, because not doing so could cause Arab anger and violence.

Liberman’s predecessor, Moshe Ya’alon, agreed with the security establishment top brass and followed a policy of returning bodies for burial. This was usually accompanied with admonitions that the burial must be carried out quietly, although the regulations were often ignored and the funerals turned into nationalistic demonstrations.

During Thursday’s Security Cabinet session, Liberman also asked Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to make it possible to tear down terrorists’ homes without a lengthy legal process.

“A terrorist’s home should be razed within 24 hours,” he reportedly said. “Why isn’t this happening?” According to Haaretz, Mandelblit told him that there was no way of circumventing the legal procedures that delay the procedure.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the National Security Council to prepare plans for creating a special cemetery for terrorists.