JENIN - After nine years of efforts to bring the body of their daughter home, Hiba Daraghmeh's family on Thursday hoped to bury her next to her grandfather.
Israeli authorities have agreed to return the bodies of 91 Palestinians whose remains it kept in unnamed graves in the "cemetery of numbers" just north of the West Bank city of Jericho.
Hiba's father Azem, in the northern West Bank town Tubas, told Ma'an of his joy when he learned his daughter's body would be returned.
"I am finally going to bury her in Tubas soil next to her grandfather who loved her very much and waited for her body to return ... though he died before he could see her."
Hiba died in a militant operation in northern Israeli city Afula in 2003, which killed three Israelis.
Since the attack, Israeli authorities demolished the family's home, and arrested Azem, his wife and daughter, while imprisoning Hiba's brother for 22 years.
Azem, who still worried Israel would retract its decision to return the bodies, said the nine years without a grave for Hiba were dark times.
He petitioned Palestinian members of Israel's parliament and human rights groups to secure her body, to no avail.
Now that the family expects to place her in a grave for the first time, Azem is headed to Ramallah to accompany his daughter's body.
The family plans a traditional Palestinian funeral, nine years after the death of their daughter.