Israel on Thursday released the bodies of seven terrorists who were killed in recent months as they committed attacks on Israelis, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
The number of bodies to be released was initially twelve, but Israel later backtracked on two due to ‘security measures,’ the Palestinian Safa news agency reported. The status of three other unreleased bodies was not immediately clear.
The transfer occurred Thursday evening at the Ofer checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Among the bodies returned were those of brothers Fadi and Shadi Hasib, who carried out separate vehicular attacks one week apart; Wisam Abu Ghwaila, who rammed his car into an IDF soldier near Geva Binyamin; and Anan Abu Habsa and ‘Issa ‘Assaf who together stabbed three Israelis at the Jaffa Gate entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City last week. Two Israelis were killed in the latter attack, one by stabbing and another by accidental police fire.
Two of the bodies that Israel backtracked on transferring were Ahmed Jahajha from Qalandiya and Hikmet Hamadan from El-Bireh. Both were killed on December 16, while trying to run over IDF soldiers who were conducting a raid in Qalandiya refugee camp.
For over three months Palestinians have carried out near daily attacks on Israeli civilians and security forces including stabbings, shootings, and car-ramming attacks. More than 20 Israelis have been killed and dozens injured. Among Palestinians, over 100 have been killed, most of them as they carried out attacks, and others in violent clashes with security forces.
Israeli authorities in some cases delay the return of the bodies in order to prevent — or at least dampen — the mass-rallies that accompany the terrorists’ funerals, where participants often call for the murder of Israelis and urge new terror attacks. The delay is thought to lessen the significance attached to any particular attacker, and so to reduce attendance at the funerals.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report