Israeli Police Return Body of East Jerusalem Terrorist After Four Months

Only 14 relatives of assailant, who perpetrated attack in Jerusalem bus station, attend funeral. His body if first of 10 from capital to be returned.

Soldiers outside Jerusalem's Central Bus Station, the scene of a stabbing attack, October 14, 2015.
Olivier Fitoussi

The Israel Police on late Sunday night returned the body of a terrorist from East Jerusalem's At-Tur neigborhood to his family for burial, four months after he was shot and killed while carrying out an attack at Jerusalem's Central Bus Station.

The police restricted the number of relatives allowed to attend the funeral of Ahmed Abu Shaaban to 14. 

Shaaban's body is the first of 10 terrorists, all from East Jerusalem, held by police to be returned in recent months. Some of the bodies have been kept by police for up to five months. The Israeli army has returned the bodies of terrorists from the West Bank to their families immediately.

Most families of terrorists from East Jerusalem negotiate with the police regarding the timing and conditions of the funerals. However, their representative, attorney Mohammed Mahmoud, asserts that even after agreements were reached, the police didn't released bodies for burial.

Last week, coalition leaders approved the advancement of a bill to suspend parliamentarians with a legislative supermajority in the wake of Arab MKs visiting the families of East Jerusalem terrorists killed in terror attacks, whose bodies are held by Israel.

The bill, an amendment to the Basic Law: Knesset, will enable a majority of 90 MKs to suspend a colleague for "behavior unbecoming the status of a Knesset member." The bill, submitted by Immigrant Absorption Minister Zeev Elkin, is set to go to committee for discussion.