TULKAREM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities decided on Thursday that they will return the body of Nidal Daoud Mahdawi, 44
, to his family in Tulkarem in the northern occupied West Bank after it was held by the Israeli government for 10 days.
Nasser Mufleh, head of the Palestinian Civil Affairs office in Tulkarem, told Ma’an that Israeli authorities had informed the Palestinian liaison that the body of Mahdawi, who was shot and killed on January 17 after he allegedly attempted to carry out a stabbing attack at a Tulkarem-area checkpoint, would be returned on Friday afternoon at the Jubara checkpoint.
Mufleh added that the Palestinian side would be receiving Mahdawi’s body and transferring it to the Thabet Governmental Hospital in Tulkarem before taking it to his family home in the Shweikeh neighborhood.
Mahdawi was a holder of Israeli residency, married and a father of five. He was the fifth of seven Palestinians to have been confirmed killed by Israeli forces in 2017. Five Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in the same time frame.
In 2016, Ma'an recorded the deaths
of 112 Palestinians, 15 Israelis, and three foreign nationals.
Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their excessive use of force against Palestinians, including minors, during incidents which could have been handled without the use of deadly violence.
Meanwhile, Israeli authorities dramatically escalated a policy of withholding Palestinian bodies killed by Israeli forces amid unrest that erupted across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October 2015, having repeatedly claimed that funerals of Palestinians had provided grounds for “incitement” against the Israeli state.
A joint statement released by Addameer and Israeli minority rights group Adalah in March condemned Israel’s practice of withholding bodies as "a severe violation of international humanitarian law as well as international human rights law, including violations of the right to dignity, freedom of religion, and the right to practice culture."
PLO official Saeb Erekat has also urged the international community to pressure Israel to release Palestinian bodies held by Israel, saying: "Israel's collective punishments are now being carried out against the living and the dead."