BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Thousands of mourners on Wednesday attended the burial of a Bethlehem resident whose remains were returned to the occupied West Bank by Israel after being held by authorities for nearly 12 years.
The body of Jamil Khalaf Mustafa Hmeid were delivered to his family at Tarqumiya checkpoint south of Hebron late Tuesday, Palestinian security sources said.
The funeral procession started at Beit Jala's public hospital, where the body was placed in an ambulance by Palestinian security officers and taken to Hmeid's family home in the neighborhood of al-Maslakh.
He was then buried in the Martyrs' Cemetery in east Bethlehem.
Hmeid died carrying out a suicide bombing that injured several Israeli settlers near the illegal settlement of Efrat in March 2002, south of Bethlehem.
The attack 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.