JERUSALEM (VINnews) — The IDF spokesman announced Thursday morning that after strenuous mediation efforts by security forces in coordination with the PA security establishment, the body of Tiran Pero, the Druze who was abducted from a Jenin hospital and allegedly murdered, has been returned to his family.
The body, which was being held by armed members of Islamic Jihad, was transferred via a Red Crescent ambulance to his family. The family were assisted by the Coordinator Of Activities In Judea and Samaria, Gen. Ghassan Elian and the head of the Civil Administration in the region, Brig.-Gen. Fares Attila. Both officers are senior-ranking Druze members of the IDF.
Foreign representatives, including the US and UN, also pressured the kidnappers to release the body.
Security officials say that the breakthrough in negotiations came when the IDF announced that all checkpoints in the Gilboa region would be closed for the weekend, which would cause significant economic loss to local residents. The PA pressed the kidnappers, who finally agreed to release the body, whom they had mistakenly identified as an IDF soldier even though he was actually a 12th-grade student.
Pero’s uncle Edi said that it had been a “very long night” and thanked those who had succeeded in promoting the resolution to the crisis and who had brought back Pero’s body “so that we can part from him in an honorable way and bring him to burial in Daliat El-Carmel.”
Prime Minister Lapid sent condolences to Pero’s family and said that returning his body was the “little that we can do to bring comfort to his home.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz praised the Palestinian Authority for negotiating the release of Pero, stating that “this was a basic humanitarian gesture after a cruel and inhuman action.” Gantz did not state what punitive action would be taken against the kidnappers.
Members of the Druze community had made violent protests Wednesday, closing major arteries and threatening to go to Jenin with arms and liberate the body of Pero, who had travelled to Jenin to fix his car and been involved in a road accident. Media reports said that three Arabs from Hevron and another from Jenin had been kidnapped and held captive by Druze demanding the return of Pero’s body. The Arabs were later released.
Pero’s father said that “I and my son travelled immediately to the hospital when we heard what had happened. They treated him well, his situation was stabilizing and then these armed men came, about 20 of them, and kidnapped him in front of my eyes. They just came to the operating room and took him, meaning that they murdered him. He was alive, in serious but stable condition, when they took him it was over. Then we heard shooting, as if they were celebrating and proud of their action.”