Cemetery war ends with widows' peace

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The Independent Online
Two widows, one Jewish and one Muslim, who had been fighting in court over who would bury their shared husband, decided on a compromise yesterday.

Shuakat Kuza, a Muslim who converted to Judaism and back to Islam, will be buried in the Muslim section but near the Jewish side of a cemetery in Haifa where the Jewish widow lives. There will be two separate burial ceremonies, one Jewish and one Muslim, Israeli television reported.

Kuza had converted to Judaism in 1994, taken a Hebrew name and married his Jewish partner of 30 years. But three days after he married her in November 1995, he went to an Islamic court in Hebron and converted back to Islam and married a Muslim woman, without ever divorcing his Jewish wife. Muslims are allowed to marry up to four women.

After Kuza died recently of heart failure, each wife demanded to be allowed to bury him according to her religion and on Thursday took the case to the Supreme Court. The court had planned to rule on the case in the coming days but Israeli television said the women reached the compromise on their own.

- AP, Jerusalem