Israel to withhold bodies of Palestinians
TEL AVIV - Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Thursday ordered the bodies of Palestinians killed by security forces not be returned for burial, as Israel clamped down after a deadly shooting in Tel Aviv.
A spokesman for Lieberman confirmed the order, his first major decision related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the hardliner took office on May 30.
Israeli officials argue funerals for attackers often turn into rallies that promote further violence.
Palestinians and rights groups say the measure, used in the past, amounts to collective punishment and feeds into anger over Israel's occupation of the West Bank.
Muslim custom demands the dead be buried as soon as possible.
Two Palestinian gunmen opened fire at a Tel Aviv cafe on Wednesday night, killing four Israelis and wounding five others.
One of the attackers was arrested, while the other was wounded by gunfire and had undergone surgery, police said.
Lieberman has in the past spoken of harsh measures against Palestinian "terrorists," though he vowed "responsible, reasonable policy" after being named defence minister.