Israel returns bodies of slain Palestinian assailants

Israel handed over the bodies of two Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks on soldiers and civilians to their families on Friday, an army spokeswoman said.

She identified the two as Nidal Daud Mahdawi, who was killed trying to stab soldiers on January 17, and Majd al-Khudur who was killed during a 2016 car-ramming attack that wounded two civilians.

Both attacks took place in the West Bank.

Hospital officials have identified Khudur as an 18-year-old woman.

A wave of Palestinian attacks that erupted in October 2015 has resulted in the deaths of 251 Palestinians, 40 Israelis, two Americans, a Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese.

However, the violence has greatly declined in recent months.

Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities, with others killed during protests, in clashes or air raids on Gaza.

Israel blames incitement by Palestinian leaders and media as a leading cause of the violence.

Israeli authorities have held on to bodies of killed Palestinians since the violence began, often keeping them for many months as a means of deterrence and to prevent clashes during funerals.


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