Body of Israeli Druze Man Seized by Palestinians in Jenin Returned to Family – Israeli Military

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CNN

The body of an Israeli Druze young man who was seized by Palestinian gunmen in Jenin has been handed over to his family, the Israeli military said Thursday, adding that nothing had been given in return.

“We did not negotiate in any way with the gunmen who had the body,” an IDF spokesman said during a briefing. “We didn’t give anything in return. I think at some point they understood that the consequences for this would have been very harsh for the Jenin economy.”

Gunmen had stormed a hospital in Jenin and seized the body of Tiran Ferro, who had been in a car accident in the West Bank, authorities on both sides of the conflict said on Wednesday. The gunmen demanded the return of the bodies Palestinians killed by Israeli troops, they said.

Israel closed roads in and out of Jenin on Wednesday after the body was seized and reopened them on Thursday after it was returned.

Jenin Governor Major General Akram Rajoub told CNN that Palestinian Authority security officials had been negotiating with the gunmen holding the body.

“The PA General Intelligence Service had contacts with one of the kidnappers, which facilitated the return of the body to the General Intelligence Service headquarters in Jenin,” Rajoub said.

There is a dispute over whether Ferro was alive or dead when gunmen burst into his hospital room in Jenin and took his body.

Ferro’s father told Israeli media on Wednesday that the teenager was alive and took his own life. But Jenin Governor Akram Rajoub told CNN that Ferro was dead when his body was taken.

Ferro’s father said: “When we were at the hospital, we were standing in front of the intensive care unit. My son was on the ventilator and had a heartbeat. I was with my brother and my son, suddenly a gang of 20 masked men came screaming into the room. We got off and there was nothing we could have done.

“They kidnapped the body in front of my eyes,” Ferro’s father told reporters on camera.

But Jenin’s governor, Rajoub, told CNN that Ferro was dead when his body was taken.

The Jenin Brigade, a Palestinian militant group based in the West Bank refugee camp, said Wednesday in a statement obtained by CNN that it was holding the body of Ferro and demanded that Israel hand over all the bodies of Palestinians killed by the IDF in Israel’s possession. The group also said it had raised the alert among its members in anticipation of Israeli forces storming the Jenin camp.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid vowed on Wednesday that “the kidnappers would pay a heavy price” if Tiran’s Ferro’s body was not returned: “Israel has proven in recent months that there is no place and no terrorist that it does not know how it must reach.”

Lapid said Ferro should celebrate his 18th birthday on Thursday. He was a member of the Druze minority, community leaders told CNN.

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