Thousands attended the funeral of 17-year-old Druze Tiran Ferro on Thursday, Nov. 24, who was laid to rest in the village of Daliyat al-Karmel. Ferro’s body was kidnapped on Wednesday, Nov. 23, by Palestinian gunmen from the hospital in Jenin.
Early Thursday morning, Ferro’s family received their son’s body at the Salem crossing into the occupied West Bank, east of Jenin, in the presence of senior members of the Palestinian security apparatus and officers of the Israeli army, a day after the body was kidnapped in Jenin. Ferro was killed in a car accident while in Jenin, with his brother and father also being injured and transferred to Israel for treatment.
The abduction of Ferro’s body was met with widespread condemnation and anger from Palestinian both inside of Israel and in the occupied West Bank, with calls for his body’s return echoing throughout the region. The Palestinian leaders from within Israel, including the chairman of the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee and former Knesset Member Mohammad Barakeh , called for the body to be handed over to the family.
The Palestinian Authority contacted the armed men who kidnapped the body, thinking that it was an Israeli settler, hoping to conduct negotiations with Israeli officials for the release of Palestinian bodies held by Israel. According to Palestinian officials, there are more than 263 bodies of Palestinians that have been in Israel’s hands since 2016.
Senior Israeli military officials said that the gunmen received nothing in return – and they thanked the Palestinian Authority for the “responsibility and seriousness” it showed in the negotiations for the return of the body. “Besides the achievement of returning the body, we have a sad morning for the citizens of Israel and certainly for the Ferro family and the residents of Daliyat al-Karmel. We thank the family that trusted the IDF and the security system and gave us the strength to retrieve the body,” said a senior official.
Israeli security officials fear the tense period correctly rocking the region, especially following the two explosions earlier in the week that occurred in Jerusalem at bus stops, killing one civilian and injuring dozens more.
Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh said that this event is not acceptable at all, and requires condemnation. “We must work to remove all citizens from the conflict equation. What’s more, these are members of one nation and members of one issue.” He emphasized that the matter of the possession of the bodies of Palestinians by Israel is “an issue in itself that requires action to release the bodies, on the way to the liberation of the Palestinian people from this criminal occupation.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz thanked the Palestinian Authority for the return of the body. Intelligence sources said that no negotiations were conducted with the Palestinian militants who held the body, and that no Israeli concession was given at the same time.
Kidnapping and assault of Palestinian Laborers in Yarka
The kidnapping of Ferro’s body threatened to escalate into a spiral of retaliatory actions by both sides, as 5 Palestinian laborers working in the village of Yarka in the Western Galilee were kidnapped and assaulted in response. According to the police, three Hebron residents were attacked by several men in Yarka. The Palestinians stated that the assailants shot in the air and forced them into a vehicle.
The police reported that they found all three of them (17, 19, and 28 years old) bruised near the place where they were kidnapped. They were evacuated for medical treatment at the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, the police began an investigation into the circumstances of the incident. Other reports also emerged of Palestinian workers in Shefa Amr were also attacked, and another Palestinian worker was stabbed in the south.
Sheikh of Mwafaq Tarif thanks those who helped return body
For his part, the Sheikh of Mwafaq Tarif, the spiritual leader of the Druze community in Israel, thanked all those who worked to return the body. “I thank everyone who worked to return the body, and fulfilled this mission, and worked to build bridges to bridge the gaps in these difficult days. To everyone, to everybody, and to every institution that operates, we thank you, for giving back to Tiran’s family its natural right to say goodbye to the one dearest to it.”