The people of Nablus in the occupied West Bank have finally been able to bury a Palestinian man whose body has been held by Israel for 35 years. The mortal remains of Hafith Muhammad Waheed Abu Zant were handed over by the occupying forces at the weekend.
Abu Zant's funeral procession went from Rafidia Hospital to Nablus city centre where an oratory and funeral prayer was conducted. The body was then carried to the Western cemetery where many of the Palestinian fallen are buried.
As a member of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine Abu Zant took part with four others in an operation against the occupation forces in the Jordan Valley area in May 1976. Three of the Palestinian fighters were killed during the operation; Mashoor al Aroori's body was returned to his family after a few months, as was Khalid Abu Ziyad's. Two other men managed to escape. At that time, the Israeli occupation forces were suffering heavy losses from their military patrols in the Jordan Valley.
It is understood that it was a policy of the Zionist occupation forces to seize the bodies of those killed in operations against them. Hundreds of bodies are believed to still be in Israeli mortuaries.
Abu Zant was born in Nablus in December 1953 and was killed when he was 23 years old.
MEMO Photographer: Ibtehal Mansour