Petition filed for Israeli court to return body of Bedouin
JERUSALEM - Lawyers for a Bedouin Arab man killed during clashes in southern Israel announced Friday they had filed a petition calling for his body to be returned.
Yacoub Abu al-Qiyan, 50, died in disputed circumstances Wednesday when police raided the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in order to demolish several homes.
An Israeli officer also died in what police said was an attack.
The Adalah NGO, along with an Arab Israeli parliamentarian, filed a petition with Israel's Supreme Court calling for his body to be released immediately without preconditions.
Family members had been asked to agree to a number of stipulations before returning the body, their lawyer said.
"They want to give the body back only at night, and also to have only a limited number of people at the funeral -- 40-50 people only," Attorney Nadeem Shehadeh from the Adalah NGO said.
They also demanded the funeral not take place in the Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran, where Qiyan came from, but in the nearby town of Hura, Shehadeh said.
Police said they would not give the body back until a full autopsy had been completed and would not confirm they had placed conditions on returning the body.
Qiyan's death occurred in the early hours of Wednesday when police raided the village to destroy five homes.
Police said he had deliberately driven at forces entering the town, killing 34-year-old policeman Erez Levi, but residents and activists said he was shot before losing control of the car.
An aerial video provided by the police appeared to show him being shot before careering into the officers.
Arab Israelis are descendants of Palestinians who remained after the creation of Israel in 1948 and who now make up around 17.5 percent of the population.
Israel routinely places preconditions on returning the bodies of Palestinians it says have carried out attacks, arguing the funerals can turn into glorifying violence.