The mothers of Uday and Ghassan Abu Jamal, the cousins from east Jerusalem’s Jabel Mukaber neighborhood who perpetrated the deadly terror attack Tuesday morning at a synagogue in the capital’s Har Nof neighborhood, are demanding Israel return their bodies for burial.
The two were shot dead at the scene after killing four men at prayer with a gun and meat cleavers and later shooting a Druze police officer who tried to stop them. He died of his wounds later that day.
The bodies of the two terrorists have remained in Israeli hands as the government has reportedly been mulling the possibility of not delivering them to their families for burial, as a punitive measure.
On Thursday, the Israeli government issued demolition orders to the families of the two, granting them 48 hours to appeal the decision.
“Let them destroy the houses, but we want the bodies back. We will not calm down until we bury them,” said Fatma Abu Jamal, the mother of Uday.
“The deaths of the cousins hurts us, but I am proud of my son,” Zakia Abu Jamal, Ghassan’s mother, told Ynet. “I didn’t get the feeling that my son was about to die as a martyr. He acted completely normal, but, unfortunately, was is happening at al-Aqsa [mosque] is the cause of a lot of tension and anger,” she added, referring to recent violence at the Temple Mount and widespread Palestinian assertions — denied by Israel — that Israel is planning to change the status quo at the site, the holiest in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam.
Fatma Abu Jamal said she was anxious to receive the body of her son. “We want to have the bodies so we can decide where to bury them, and not the Israeli government. They killed them, what more do they want from us?” she said.
Early Tuesday morning, the two cousins entered the synagogue in the ultra-Orthodox Har Nof neighborhood and began attacking worshipers in a spree of violence that lasted several minutes, killing Rabbis Aryeh Kupinsky, Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, Kalman Levine, and Moshe Twersky. Policemen Zidan Saif died of his injuries, sustained in the shootout, late Tuesday.
The two terrorists were killed by police in the ensuing shootout.
Israel has vowed to respond forcefully to the deadly attack, the fifth in the capital in just under a month.