Israel Returns Bodies of Two Palestinian Assailants to East Jerusalem Families

Both 16-year-old Muataz Awisat and 51-year-old Fadua abu Tir allegedly tried to stab Israeli Border Police officers before being shot and killed.

Jack Khoury
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The site of an attempted stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City on Tuesday, March 8, 2016.
The site of an attempted stabbing attack in Jerusalem's Old City on Tuesday, March 8, 2016.Credit: Police Spokesman's Unit
Jack Khoury

Israel returned the bodies of two Palestinians from East Jerusalem to their families overnight Monday, and they were laid to rest after midnight.

The families of 16-year-old Muataz Awisat and 51-year-old Fadua Abu Tir, both killed after allegedly attempting to attack Israelis, received a message on Monday that their relatives' bodies would be returned under the condition that no more than 45 people attend their funerals.

Awisat was said to have tried to stab Israeli Border Police officers in Jerusalem who shot him dead in October. Abu Tir was also shot and killed by Border Police officers after she allegedly tried to stab them in the Old City in March.

The bodies of the two have been held by Israel since the incidents in which they were killed.

Speaking prior to the transfer, attorney Muhammed Mahmid from the legal center Addameer said Abu Tir's body was to be delivered to family members near the cemetery in Umm Tuba, just outside of Jerusalem, while Awisat's body would be handed over near the cemetery in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukabber. 

The families were required to give Israeli police collateral checks in the amount of 20,000 shekels to ensure that the terms of the deliveries would not be broken.

The deal for Israel to release the bodies was the result of an appeal to Israel's High Court by human rights NGOs on behalf of the Palestinian families against the holding of the bodies.

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