Palestinians call for clashes as Israel refuses to return bodies of alleged attackers

Published October 27th, 2015 - 12:43 GMT

Palestinians across the southern West Bank district of Hebron are set to rally on Tuesday in protest against Israel's decision to withhold the bodies of 11 Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces this month.

Palestinian factions across Hebron called for the "rally of anger" to march from al-Haras mosque in Hebron's city center to Ibn Rush Square.

In a joint statement, Hebron's factional leaders urged residents of Hebron district to join the rally in solidarity with the families of Hebron's "martyrs."

A similar statement was released by Hebron's prominent Abu Sneina family, urging Palestinians to "take to the street to demand returning bodies of our hero children held by the Israeli occupation forces."

"Joining the rally is an expression of love to our homeland and to martyrs and their families," the statement added.

One of the dead, Saad Muhammad Yousif al-Atrash, belongs to an offshoot of the Abu Sneina family.

Since the beginning of October, 18 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces across Hebron district -- including five children.

The majority were shot dead in Hebron city -- the highest death toll outside of Jerusalem -- in most cases after Israel alleges they attempted to carry out stabbing attacks on Israelis.

Earlier this month, Israel's security cabinet announced that the bodies of Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces after carrying out attacks on Israeli citizens would no longer be returned to their families.

The decision -- one among a series of stringent security measures -- was taken in order to stem protests that frequently accompany the funerals of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.

While Palestinians agree that several of those killed in Hebron were attempting to carry out knife attacks when they were shot, video footage and witness testimonies have raised serious questions over Israel's allegations in many of the other cases.

In one instance, footage captured by the Youth Against Settlements activist group may have shown Israeli forces planting a knife on the body of 19-year-old Fadil Qawasmi after he was killed by an Israeli settler.

More recently, witnesses have strongly contested Israel's allegation that 17-year-old Dania Irsheid was armed with a knife when she was shot dead outside the Ibrahimi Mosque.

While seven Palestinians killed in Hebron district have been buried, the Israeli authorities have been holding the bodies of the other 11.

The Palestinian Authority's liaison department in Hebron said it submitted a request to its Israeli counterpart asking for the return of their bodies, identifying them as:

1. Dania Jihad al-Husseini Irsheid, 17, killed on October, 25, 2015

2. Bayan Ayman al-Iseili, 16, killed on October, 17, 2015

3. Basil Basim Sidir, 19, killed on October, 14, 2015

4. Tariq Ziad al-Natsha, 16, killed on October, 17, 2015

5. Fadil Muhammad Awad al-Qawasmi, 18, killed on October, 17, 2015

6. Hamza Mousa al-Amlah, 25, killed on October, 20, 2015

7. Husam Ismail al-Jaabari, 17, killed on October, 20, 2015

8. Bashar Nidal al-Jaabari, 15, killed on October, 20, 2015

9. Mahmoud Khali Gneimat, 20, killed on October, 20, 2015

10. Saad Muhammad Yousif al-Atrash, 20, killed on October, 26, 2015

11. Raed Sakit Abdul-Rahim Jaradat, 22, killed on October, 26, 2015

The seven Palestinians that have been buried were identified as Iyad Rawhi Jaradat from Sair, 19, Amjad Hatim al-Jundi, 20, from Hebron, Muhammad Faris al-Jaabari, 19, from Hebron, Ibrahim Ahmad Mustafa Awad, 28, from Beit Ummar, Iyad Khalil Mahmoud Awawdah, 26, from Deir Samit, Hashem Younis Hashem al-Azzeh, 54, from Hebron, and Udayy Masalmah, 24, from Beit Awwa.

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