Thousands Attend Funeral of Palestinian Suicide Bombers After Bodies Returned by Israel

Father of terrorist girl declares number of mourners proves 'they had been victorious.'

Thousands of Palestinians on Monday attended the funeral of two suicide bombers whose bodies were returned by Israel the previous day, the Ma'an News Agency reported Monday.

The first body was that of Ayat al-Akhras, of the Duheisha refugee camp. The 18-year-old murdered Rachel Levy, 17, and security guard Haim Smadar, 55, and injured 28 others when she blew herself up inside a supermarket in Jerusalem's Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood at the height of the second intifada in March 2002.

The other body was that of Daoud Abu Swayy, who injured three people when he detonated himself outside the David Citadel Hotel in Jerusalem in December 2001. The bomb apparently exploded prematurely, causing only light wounds from broken glass, Jerusalem police chief Miki Levy said at the time.

The father of al-Akhras told Ma'an that the large numbers of mourners prove that they had been victorious, the agency reported. "We have beaten them with our word and patience," he said.

Israel's return of the bodies Sunday sparked some anger at home.

"Those who killed civilians should be treated like people who committed war crimes," said Meir Indor, head of Almagor, a group that speaks for victims of attacks by militants. "Eichmann's body was not given back," he added, referring to Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi who was executed by Israel in 1962 for his role as one of the architects of the Holocaust.