(November 27, 2019 / JNS) Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett announced on Wednesday that Israel will no longer release the bodies of terrorists, regardless of which terror group the person belonged to.
The decision came after consultations with senior security officials, Ynet reported. According to the new directive, exceptions to the policy will be at the defense minister’s discretion.
Israel’s Security Cabinet has not yet approved the new policy.
“The request for a change in policy was made by the family of Hadar Goldin [an IDF soldier whose body is being held in Gaza by Hamas] during their meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week,” said a senior security official according to the report. “Netanyahu expressed willingness to change the policy and instructed security authorities to look into the issue,” the official said.
Until now, Israel’s policy has been to retain possession of the bodies of Hamas terrorists and others associated with the organization, as well as of terrorists who carried out major attacks.
Goldin’s family praised the move, stating, “We back the defense minister’s decision. It is inconceivable to continue releasing dead or living terrorists while [our] soldiers are held in Hamas’s hands.”
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