Terrorists’ bodies returned, victims’ families not informed

Sunday, February 18, 2018, 8:26 On Friday, February 16, the bodies of two terrorists, one from Bayt Surik who carried out the September 2017 attack in Har Adar, and the other from Halhul who carried out the February 2018 attack in Karmei Tzur, were returned to their families. Issam Ottman, the father of Youssef, z”l, who was among the three murder victims – two security guards and a border policeman – in the Har Adar terror attack made a public statement following the return of the body of the terrorist. In the video clip Issam stated that no-one informed the family prior to the return of the terrorist’s body and also criticized the fact that the return was carried out without any gain: “I received notification that the body of the terrorist who murdered my dear first-born son Youssef, and two other young men, had been returned. They returned the body shortly before Shabbat, quietly, secretly so that no-one would know about it, without informing me. This was a violation of the Security Cabinet decision. Someone wanted to conceal it. I don’t understand. Why are they concealing it like this? Whoever is concealing it is afraid of something, and it’s a shame that it’s being done like this. Once is sad. Twice is a disgrace. What did we receive in return? They returned the body of the cursed terrorist to his family who celebrated and enjoyed it. What did we receive in return? There are bodies of [IDF] soldiers in Gaza. Did we receive them in return? No. We did not receive anything. “It is a shame that we are trampling our own honor. I suggest to whomever made this decision to think again about us. Think about the bereaved families in Israel. This should not be done to them. The blood of our children should not be scorned. Think again, wake up, don’t give gifts. It all seems as if [their honor] is being trampled for nothing. It’s a disgrace.” Honenu is representing the families of the two security guards who were murdered in the terror attack. Several months ago Honenu sent a letter to the Defense Minister and other relevant individuals, demanding that the body of the terrorist not be returned to his families, and that the families of the victims be informed of any developments in the matter. As of today no reply to the letter has been received. Shmuel (Zangi) Meidad, the director of Honenu added, “The return of the terrorist’s body several minutes before Shabbat to a showcase funeral procession without any apparent reason to do so is an incident of the utmost seriousness. There are several individuals responsible in addition to the Prime Minister, and we will demand explanations. “We experience the searing pain of the families [of the victims] every day. It is a disgrace that there is not one representative of the State who informs the families and feels their pain. We have not yet succeeded in receiving a reply concerning an investigation into the many errors which occurred in the aftermath of the murder of the security guards in Har Adar.”

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