According to local media, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon not to return the bodies of Palestinians killed in the West Bank, to prevent funerals escalating into protests.
Israel has faced a wave of violence beginning in early September 2015, killing almost 230 people. Most of the victims are Palestinians, who have been killed following knife, firearm and car attacks on Israelis. Some 30 Israelis and one US citizen are said to have been killed in attacks since October 2015. Thursday's axe attack, in which the soldier was lightly wounded, ended a three-week pause in such incidents.
Israeli Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan supports holding back Palestinian bodies from relatives, saying he wants to avoid funerals turning into political rallies. This policy, however, is noted to increase the resentment of Palestinians.