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Israel court says illegal to keep dead Palestinian assailants

Published: Updated:

Israel’s supreme court ruled Thursday that it was illegal not to return the bodies of dead Palestinian assailants to their families unless an exchange was agreed.

However, the Jewish state’s highest court, on a motion filed by the families of nine Palestinians, granted the government six months to pass a law allowing such action, otherwise the bodies would have to be handed over.

Current legislation does not authorize refusal to return the bodies, it said.

The government announced last year that it would not return the bodies unless the Palestinians agreed to an exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers believed to have been killed in a 2014 war in Gaza.