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Following the terror shooting attack that took place early Friday morning near the Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem, in which two Israeli Druse policemen were shot and killed and the three terrorists killed in the ensuing gun battle on Har Habayis, Zaka volunteers found themselves in a difficult situation.
Not only were they on the scene to carry out their sacred work at the site where the two Israeli Druse policemen were killed, but they were also required to assist the Israel Police in evacuating the bodies of the three terrorists at the second site – on Har Habayis complex where access is forbidden to Jews.
After consultation with the Zaka Rabbinical Council in order to work within halacha, two Zaka volunteers toiveled in a mikve and removed their shoes before entering the holy site. Other Zaka volunteers, led by Jerusalem Commander Bentzi Oaring, waited outside the Har Habayis compound to complete their work and evacuate the bodies in Zaka ambulances.
Zaka Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav noted the difficulties that volunteers face at every terror attack, in dealing with the bodies of the terrorists, alongside those of their victims. “This is the greatness of Zaka – our volunteers treat the deceased regardless of religion, race or nationality. As it is written: Man was created in the image of God. It is not written Jew or Gentile, rather that every man was created in His image. There are incidents, like today, that lead to the absurd situation where we deal with the bodies of the victims and the terrorists, albeit with teeth gritted. In terms of the halacha, the bodies of terrorists and murderers must also be handled with respect and sent for burial. The only difference we make is with the use of black body bags for the murderers, rather than the white Zaka body bags for the victims.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)