Israel Returns Body of Palestinian Who Attacked Jerusalem Bus

A lawyer for the family of Abdul-Malak Saleh Abu Kharoub says he hopes the Israelis will release four more bodies.

A Palestinian funeral in East Jerusalem, July 2016.
Nasser Shiyoukhi, AP

Israel has returned the body of a Palestinian who was killed by security forces last March after firing at a bus in Jerusalem’s mass transit system.

Abdul-Malak Saleh Abu Kharoub, 19, was buried Tuesday night in East Jerusalem, where he had been a resident.

Twenty-five relatives attended the funeral, the limit set by the police. The police also insisted that participants not speak with the media and make no inflammatory remarks during the event.

Attorney Muhammad Mahmoud of the Palestinian prisoners’ rights group Addameer said he hoped the police would soon return four more bodies of slain assailants from East Jerusalem. He said the Kharoubs had complied with all the police’s conditions Tuesday night.

Last week Israel returned the body of Muhammad Jamal al-Kalouti, 21, who took part in the attack with Kharoub on the Egged bus company’s No. 25 bus. No one on board was hurt, but a bystander was seriously wounded. The two Palestinian gunmen were shot and killed by Israeli forces after a car chase stretching several miles.

The decision to return the bodies stemmed from talks between the police and the families, who had sued to get their sons’ bodies back.

On July 25, the High Court of Justice ordered the police and state prosecution to explain why they did not immediately return the bodies. Some weeks before, the state announced that given the resumption of small-scale terror acts by Palestinians, it was suspending the return of assailants’ bodies. But following the High Court ruling, the talks resumed.