The Israeli army released Tuesday morning the body of Palestinian martyr Mashour Talab al-Arouri to his family after holding him for 35 years in the Arqam (numbers) cemetery, Palestinian sources in Ramallah said.
The body was wrapped in a Palestinian flag and taken to the Ramallah Hospital after it was taken by the Israeli army to the Rantis barrier, where the body was met by a committee made up of members of the Palestinian “national campaign” to retrieve dead bodies, members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and the deceased’s family.
The funeral will be held Thursday or Friday in the deceased’s hometown of Aroura with a march of honor.
The body was released after legal efforts led by the national campaign for the release of dead bodies and the Jerusalem Legal Aid Center.
Arouri was reportedly killed May 18, 1976 along with two of his peers while leading a Democratic Front operation in the Jordan Valley. Since the time of their burial in the Arqam cemetery, Arouri’s family was active in demanding the release of his body, a struggle which ended when the Israeli army delivered the body on Tuesday after a decision by the Israeli Supreme Court.
Arouri’s case was a judicial precedent, being the first of 317 missing and dead Palestinians in the Arqam cemetery to be delivered to their families.
Jerusalem legal aid center attorney Haitham al-Khatib said the case required a long time and serious efforts because of delays by the attorney general and Israeli Supreme Court.
Khatib emphasized his conviction for the right of the families of those martyrs held in the Arqam cemetery to retrieve their loved ones.