Akram Rajoub, the Palestinian governor of Jenin, told Israel’s Kan public radio that the abduction of Fero's body was “a big mistake,” and that Palestinian officials made great efforts to secure its release. He extended condolences to Fero's family and the Druze community.
It was not immediately clear what prompted the abduction and no militant group has claimed responsibility for the act. Palestinian militants in the past have carried out kidnappings to seek concessions from Israel.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz thanked Palestinian officials “who worked tirelessly” for the return of Fero’s body.
“This is a basic, humanitarian measure taken after a horrific incident,” he said.
The incident angered the Druze community, which demanded the body be returned.
Police said on Thursday that they were investigating an incident in which three Palestinian laborers were allegedly attacked by residents of the overwhelmingly Druze village of Yarka in the Galilee. Police said officers found the three Palestinians, injured and bound, and freed them.
The police did not say whether the incident was related to the snatching of Fero.
Also Thursday, thousands of mourners took part in the funeral of two Palestinians who had died of wounds they suffered earlier from Israeli fire. A 22-year-old civilian, Mohammed Abu Kushuk, was wounded Tuesday night during an Israeli raid in Nablus. Militant Mohammed Herzallah, 30, was wounded during clashes with Israeli forces in July.
More than 130 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the West Bank and east Jerusalem this year, making 2022 the deadliest year since 2006. The fighting has surged since a series of Palestinian attacks in the spring killed 19 people in Israel.
The Israeli army says most of the Palestinians killed have been militants. But stone-throwing youths protesting the incursions and others not involved in confrontations have also been killed.
Another eight Israelis have been killed in a fresh wave of Palestinian attacks in recent weeks. On Wednesday, twin explosions at two bus stops in Jerusalem killed a teen and wounded at least 18 people.