An official Palestinian delegation on Saturday visited the bereaved family of Israeli Druze teenager Tiran Fero, whose body was seized by Palestinian gunmen from a West Bank hospital after a car crash earlier this week.
The condolence visit to the Druze-majority town of Daliyat al-Karmel in northern Israel was headed by Mahmoud al-Habbash, an adviser on religious and Islamic affairs to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to a report by Kan news.
“Our dear brethren in Daliyat al-Karmel, parents of the deceased, he was dear to us as he was dear to you,” al-Habbash told Tiran’s mourning parents, the Ynet news site said.
The visit came after Tiran’s body was returned to Israel on Thursday, some 30 hours after being taken.
The body was handed over at the Salem Crossing near Jenin following intense negotiations between high-level governmental and security officials in Israel and the Palestinian Authority, reports said.
Israel had sought a diplomatic solution to the crisis but was also preparing for a military operation to retrieve the body, Hebrew media reports suggested.
The kidnapping of Fero infuriated the Druze community in Israel.
His family has claimed that Palestinian gunmen detached him from life support and grabbed him from the hospital, while the military and a senior defense source indicated that he was already dead when he was taken.
On Wednesday, before the body was returned, thousands demonstrated in Daliyat al-Karmel and at a protest march blocking off a major highway.
Fero was buried Thursday in his hometown of Daliyat al-Karmel.
The Jenin area has been seen as a major hotspot for terror in recent months and the Palestinian Authority is believed to be losing control of the region.
Palestinian gunmen, mostly in the northern West Bank, have repeatedly targeted troops conducting arrest raids, as well as military posts, soldiers operating along the West Bank security barrier, Israeli settlements and civilians on the roads.
Emanuel Fabian contributed to this report.