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Israel returns bodies of 3 Palestinians

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The Israeli authorities on Monday returned the bodies of three Palestinians who where shot dead by Israeli forces last week — two after carrying out an attack on Israelis and one during clashes.

The bodies of Yasir al-Shawarma and Omar Muhammad Amro were released to their families at the Ofer detention center west of Ramallah.

The two Palestinians from al-Qubieba north of Jerusalem were both shot dead after attempting to carry out an armed attack on Israeli police forces at Damascus Gate outside Jerusalem’s Old City on Sunday last week.

Their bodies were taken to the Palestine Medical Complex, where dozens of Palestinian youths from their hometown received them.

Meanwhile, the body of 21-year-old Khalid Taqatqa from Beit Fajjar near Bethlehem was returned to his family at the nearby Husan checkpoint, before it was taken to Beit Jala’s governmental hospital.

Taqtaqa was shot and fatally wounded during clashes outside Beit Fajjar on Friday last week. He was taken to Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem where he succumbed to his wounds.

After a surge of violence began in October, the Israel government began a policy of holding the bodies of alleged attackers, in what rights groups decried as collective punishment of their families.

However, the policy was largely reversed in December, following concerns from Israel’s security establishment that it was only further stoking tensions, and most bodies have since been returned.

[Source: Ma’an News Agency]
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