Bodies of Jordan bus crash victims returned to West Bank
Published Sunday 17/03/2013 (updated) 19/03/2013 11:31
JENIN (Ma'an) -- The bodies of 15 Palestinians killed in a bus crash in Jordan were returned to the West Bank on Sunday, Palestinian officials said.
An official ceremony was held at a crossing in Jericho and attended by PLO officials Saeb Erekat, Tawfiq Tirawi, PA interior minister Said Abu Ali and health minister Hani abdeen, crossing officials said.
Presidential office chairman Hussein al-Araj represented President Abbas at the ceremony.
The bodies were then transferred from Jericho towards Jenin in a motorcade, with vehicles from the Red Crescent and Palestinian military medics carrying the bodies in front of the parade.
Jenin governor Talal Dweikat told Ma'an that the bodies will be laid out in Jenin's football stadium, where mourners will be able to join prayers for the deceased.
After the public ceremonies the bodies will be handed over to the families and taken to their respective villages for burial.
Families of the victims have said they will receive mourners at their homes for three days, Dweikat said, adding that there will be an official mourning ceremony on Wednesday with civil society organizations and representatives of official institutions.
On Saturday, a bus carrying Palestinian pilgrims who performed the Umrah pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia overturned on the Dead Sea road on Saturday, according to the Amman-based daily al-Ghad.
Fifteen Palestinians, mainly from Jenin, were killed and over 40 people injured.
Jordanian foreign minister Nasser Judeh said Saturday that "our thoughts are all with the families and the families of the victims."
He said King Abdullah II offered his condolences to the families of the victims and ordered that the best medical care be afforded to injured Palestinians.