Hamas denounces Israeli decision to not return terrorist’s body

December 22, 2022 by Pesach Benson
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Hamas denounced Israel’s decision not to return the body of Palestinian terrorist Nasser Abu Hmeid, who died of cancer while serving multiple life sentences in Israel.

Palestinians in Gaza stage a symbolic funeral for terrorist Nasser Abu Hmeid, who died of cancer in Israeli custody, Dec. 20, 2022. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS

“The occupation’s failure to hand over the body of the prisoner Abu Hmeid is a violation of international laws and norms and a violation of all human rights standards,” said Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem on Wednesday morning.

Abu Hmeid, who was imprisoned for terror attacks that killed seven Israelis, died of cancer on Tuesday morning at the Yitzhak Shamir Medical Center in Rishon LeTziyon.

Based on a Cabinet decision in 2020, Israel sometimes holds the bodies of dead Palestinian terrorists.

Israeli officials say holding the bodies deters future attacks. Terror victims also object to the large numbers of Palestinians attending terrorists’ funerals and inciting more violence.

The policy also gives Israel leverage with Hamas, which holds captive two Israeli civilians and the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed in combat

Lt. Hadar Goldin and Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul were killed while fighting in Gaza in 2014.

Hamas also holds two Israeli civilians who crossed the Gaza border in separate incidents. Avraham Mengistu, of Ashkelon, crossed into the Strip on September 7, 2014. Hisham al-Sayed, a Bedouin from the Negev town of al-Hura, managed to enter the Strip on April 20, 2015. Both are mentally unstable.

Hmeid was convicted in 2002 of murdering seven Israelis and 12 other counts of attempted murder and other terror charges. Hmeid has been serving multiple life sentences. He was diagnosed with cancer in August.

In 1990, Israel convicted Hmeid of killing five Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel, but he was released after the 1993 signing of the Oslo accords.

Hmeid was one of the original founders of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a terror organisation affiliated with the ruling Fatah party. The Brigades were responsible for numerous suicide bombings and shootings during the Second Intifada of 2000-2005.

The Brigades were funded by the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and are designated as a terror organisation by Israel, the US, the European Union, and other countries.

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