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Israel returns body of Palestinian killed by Israeli settler

March 17, 2017 9:58 A.M. (Updated: March 19, 2017 7:17 P.M.)
Saadi Mahmoud Ali Qaisiya
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities returned the body of 24-year-old Saadi Mahmoud Ali Qaisiya on Friday evening, after the man was shot and killed by an Israeli settler in the illegal settlement outpost in the South Hebron Hills on March 1 when Qaisiya allegedly committed a stabbing attack. 

After Israeli authorities handed over his remains to the Palestinian liaison, they were transferred by a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance to al-Ahli hospital in Hebron, where his family and tens of residents of Qaisiya's hometown of al-Dhahiriya were waiting. 

The Palestinian public prosecution ordered an autopsy to be conducted to determine the cause of death, and for a report to be issued to the family.

His funeral is expected to take place on Saturday.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an at the time of Qaisiya’s death that an "attacker armed with a knife entered a house" and stabbed a settler, injuring him lightly.

The settler then shot towards Qaisiya, the spokesperson added, killing him.

The spokesperson said that they were not aware of whether the Israeli army was investigating the case.

Israeli authorities have dramatically escalated a policy of withholding Palestinian bodies killed by Israeli forces, claiming that funerals of Palestinians had provided grounds for “incitement” against the Israeli state.

However, the majority of bodies of Palestinians slain by Israeli forces have since been returned to their families, despite the Israeli security cabinet deciding in January that bodies of Palestinians affiliated with the Hamas movement who were killed while carrying out attacks against Israelis would be withheld indefinitely.

A joint statement released by Addameer and Israeli minority rights group Adalah last 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."
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