TEL AVIV (Dec. 1)
Chinese officials have reversed their request to bury in Israel two Manchurian officials killed last week in a crash and are now asking that the bodies be returned to China.
Apparently learning of the problems Israel was facing because it lacks cremation facilities and non-denominational cemeteries, Beijing has now asked for the bodies of Ma Dixian, mayor of Xian Yang, Manchuria, and Zhang Li, vice chairman of the Manchurian Council for Technical and Economic Development.
The civilian helicopter in which they were traveling to Masada crashed, killing them, the pilot and two civilian Israeli passengers.
The coffins of the Chinese will now be shipped to Beijing and will be accompanied by other members of the Manchurian delegation, which had come to Israel to sign a series of economic co-production agreements.
Among them will be the husband of Zhang Li, who arrived in Israel on Sunday to bring home his wife’s body. The Ramat Gan Municipality, which hosted the delegation, arranged for an official ceremony at the airport.