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Israel suspends return of slain Palestinians’ bodies

Israeli Minister of Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman (C) is surrounded by military forces as he visits the site of a shooting attack the previous night at a shopping complex in Tel Aviv, June 9, 2016. ©AFP

Israel’s newly-appointed minister of military affairs has ordered the bodies of Palestinians killed at the hands of Israeli military forces during alleged stabbing and car ramming attacks not be returned for burial in response to a recent shooting in Tel Aviv.

On Thursday, Avigdor Lieberman issued the order following a three-hour security cabinet meeting to discuss measures in the wake of the shooting attack at Tel Aviv's Sarona Market the previous day, which left four Israelis dead and six others injured, Israeli daily Haaretz reported. 

Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan also suggested a complete halt to the return of slain Palestinians and the re-establishment of the cemetery where Israel used to bury purported Palestinian assailants during the Second Intifada, which claimed about 3,000 Palestinian lives from September 2000 to February 2005.

A senior official, informed of the contents of the Israeli cabinet meeting and speaking on condition of anonymity, also said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the National Security Council to do preparatory work on the cemetery and look into potential repercussions of such a move.

The report came as Deputy Minister of Military Affairs Eli Ben-Dahan said earlier on Thursday that Israeli officials would spare no effort to make life agonizing for the residents of the Palestinian city of Yatta, where the two Palestinian involved in the Tel Aviv shooting attack came from.

Israeli military forces, emergency personnel and ordinary people are seen at the site of a shooting attack in Tel Aviv on June 8, 2016. ©AFP

“Life in Yatta won't carry on as usual,” he said, noting that Israeli military forces have cordoned off the area.

Also on Thursday, Israeli authorities issued an order, revoking more than 83,000 permits allowing Palestinians to enter occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

They also canceled the work permits of 204 of the suspected attackers’ relatives, who had to enter the occupied territories for work.

The occupied Palestinian territories have been the scene of heightened tensions since August 2015, when Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds.

Al-Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina.

More than 210 Palestinians, including children and women, have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since October 2015. Some 30 Israelis have also been killed since then.

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