The body of a Palestinian terrorist killed while carrying out a deadly attack on a Jerusalem bus last year was returned to his family Wednesday night and was buried in a low-key funeral.
The remains of Bahaa Allyan, who killed three passengers in a terror attack on a bus in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanatziv neighborhood last October 13, was interred in the Al-Mujahideen cemetery on Salah ad-Din Street in East Jerusalem.
Security forces returned Allyan’s body on the condition that the funeral be held at midnight and have, at most, 25 people present. Additionally, it imposed a NIS 20,000 ($5,300) deposit, to be returned to the relatives if the funeral was carried out in accordance with the restrictions.
In July the High Court of Justice ordered the Israel Police to explain why it was withholding the bodies of deceased East Jerusalem attackers and had not returned the remains to their families for burial.
In August the Israel Police summoned Muhammad Allyan, Bahaa’s father, to a meeting, and offered to return the remains of his son if the family agreed to bury him in a private, late-night ceremony with only 15 people in attendance, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.
At the time, the family declined to sign the agreement, citing the small number of mourners allowed to attend, according to the Allyans’ lawyer, Muhammad Mahmoud.
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Allyan and Bilal Abu Ghanem boarded the number 78 bus armed with knives and a gun and killed three Israelis. Police who arrived at the scene shot and killed Allyan, while Abu Ghanem, who was injured in a shootout with officers, was taken into custody. Last month, he was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences and an additional 60 years in prison for the murders of Haviv Haim, Alon Govberg, and peace activist Richard Lakin.
In the months following the attack, Allyan became a Palestinian symbol, and his father was reported to have lectured in various forums, including educational institutions, about his son’s “legacy.” In June, the senior Allyan was arrested over his suspected involvement with the Hamas terrorist group. The police investigation into Allyan appears to be ongoing.
Earlier this year, the court intervened in a similar case, and ordered authorities to return the body of a Palestinian woman killed in May as she attempted to stab Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint north of Jerusalem.
At the time, police told the court they feared the funerals for the deceased attackers would turn into mass rallies in support of further terror attacks.
The practice of withholding bodies of terrorist has been implemented inconsistently, particularly as the bodies of those who attacked Israelis in the West Bank are under the purview of the Defense Ministry, while those killed within Israel proper are under the jurisdiction of the Public Security Ministry.