Israel to return remains of Palestinian man held since 2002
Published Wednesday 12/02/2014 (updated) 13/02/2014 22:07
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities will return the remains of a Palestinian man from the Hebron area whose body has been kept by Israel for more than 10 years, a Palestinian committee spokesman told Ma'an.
Amin al-Bayid, a spokesman of Hebron branch of the Palestinian Committee for Retrieving Martyrs' Bodies, told Ma'an that Israel would return the remains of Mohammad Mustafa Hasan Shahin Al-Darabee from Dura south of Hebron.
Al-Bayid said the committee was notified by a lawyer from the Israeli human rights group HaMoked (Center for the Defense of the Individual), that the remains of al-Darabee would be delivered to his family Sunday evening at the Tarqumia checkpoint south of Hebron.
After the remains of al-Darabee are returned, Israel will have returned remains of 12 Palestinians held in numbered graves. Israel pledged to return 36 bodies of Palestinians kept by Israel for many years as a gesture to encourage the PA to continue peace talks.
Al-Darabee was killed on Dec. 27, 2002 after he and Ahmad Ayid Faqih broke into the Israeli settlement of Otniel south of Hebron and opened fire inside a Yeshiva school. The attack killed two Israeli soldiers and two settlers before al-Darabee and his companion were shot dead in the ensuing firefight.
At the time al-Darabee was 20 years old.
The Islamic Jihad movement claimed responsibility for the operation, which came at the height of the Second Intifada, a Palestinian uprising in the 2000s against the decades-long Israeli occupation.
Since the late 1960s, Israel has withheld the bodies of hundreds of Palestinians. Their bodies are interred in numbered, rather than named, graves in four cemeteries created for that purpose, the biggest of which is located in the Jordan Valley.
So far this year, a number of Palestinian families have received the remains of relatives who were killed by Israeli forces and whose bodies had been held in Israel, and the number is expected to increase.