01.07.18 | Jerusalem, Ar Ram | Jaber Abu Sbeih stands in front of his dead brother

The Fridge

Ar Ram, East Jerusalem. Jaber Abu Sbeih (37) stands in front of pictures of his brother, Misbah, who was killed in October 2016 after shooting dead two Israelis. “He is still in the fridge,” says Jaber. Israel have held the body of Misbah ever since, denying the family his burial. “I have not seen him since he died. They never let us see him to say, ‘this is our son.’ We just know from the news. One of the most important points of Islam is to bury the body quickly. Even if there is family outside the country, you should not wait for them. Israel know this and use it. They don’t want you to move on from your son. My mother feels sad every time she opens the fridge.” A few miles away in Jabel Mukaber, Muawiyah Abu Jamal (45) mourns his brother and cousin; killed in an attack in November 2014 which left six Israelis dead. Their bodies were held for forty days. “We were waiting by the second, by the minute. It was killing. My mother was in shock and once asked to check if my brother had returned home, alive.” Israel cites the potential for inciteful political funerals as a reason for holding the bodies of attackers. Muawiyah’s brother, Ghassan, was eventually released to the family on strict conditions: That he be buried outside of Jerusalem, with a maximum of 40 attendees, and at one o’clock in the morning. If these conditions were breached, the family would have to pay a fine of 25,000 shekels (5000 Euro). Ghassan was released as he died, his face contorted, with 32 bullets inside his body and the holes to match. He was also frozen stiff. I asked Muawiyah to explain; he rapped the solid wooden table with his knuckles.