Israel allows detention of bodies of Palestinians it killed

Bethlehem/PNN/

Israel’s Supreme Court has granted the general prosecution an additional month to decide on the case of the detained bodies of eight Palestinians who were killed by Israeli forces, Ma’an reported today.

Muhammad Mahmoud, attorney at the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, said that the Israeli court approved a request made by the general prosecution to allow an additional period to determine its stance on returning the bodies of the Palestinian martyrs which are being held in the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine in Tel Aviv.

The prosecution’s request, he added, came after it claimed that the case was presented to a committee and therefore it needed more time “to discuss and respond to the court”.

A detailed response on the case has been scheduled to be presented by the prosecution on 14 June, according to Mahmoud.

Israel holds bodies of eight slain Palestinians, including Abd Al-Hamid Abu Srour, Muhammad Al-Faqih, Muhammad Tarayra, Rami Awartani, Misbah Abu Sbeih, Fadi Al-Qunbar, and another Jordanian martyr. The martyrs are accused of carrying out attacks on Israelis during the Jerusalem Intifada which erupted in October 2015.

Last January, Israel’s security cabinet said the bodies of the allegedly Hamas-affiliated Palestinians would not be returned to their families as Israel believes they can be used as a “bargaining chip” in future negotiations.

In March 2016, the Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association (Addameer) and the Legal Centre for Arab Minority Rights in Israel (Adalah) condemned Israel’s practice of withholding bodies as “a severe violation of international humanitarian law as well as international human rights law, including violations of the right to dignity, freedom of religion, and the right to practice culture.”