Jerusalemite shot dead in February buried under strict conditions

Jerusalem/PNN/

The Israeli intelligence Service released the body of Muhammad Abu Khalaf at midnight on Tuesday after six months of his murder.

Abu Khalaf was shot dead in February after stabbing and wounding two Israeli border police officers outside Damascus Gate in occupied Jerusalem’s Old City.

Israeli intelligence handed over the body of Abu Khalaf to his parents at midnight Tuesday, under the condition that he should be buried in Al-Mujahideen cemetery on Salah al-Din Street in the occupied city.

Only 25 persons of his relatives were allowed to attend the funeral, while a bail estimated at 20,000 shekels ($5,335) was imposed on his family.

Journalists were prevented from covering the funeral, while barriers were placed near the cemetery. Israeli authorities have dramatically escalated their policy of withholding slain Palestinian bodies since the outbreak of Jerusalem Intifada in October last year, during which more than 220 Palestinians were killed by Israelis. Human rights organizations have widely condemned the policy, with prisoners’ rights group Addameer calling it a form of “collective punishment” against Palestinians who had not been accused of any wrongdoing, also noting that it “adds to the severe grief and trauma of families of the deceased.”