Israel suspected of stealing organs from Gaza martyrs

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has expressed concern over the “stolen” of missing Palestinians and bodies of martyrs during the recent aggression against Gaza. Meanwhile, government data estimates that around 7,000 people are missing, with dozens of them detained by Israel.

The Observatory has called for the establishment of an independent international commission of inquiry into the detention by Israeli forces of the bodies of victims at the Shifa Medical Center in Gaza and at an Indonesian hospital in the northern Gaza Strip.

He also pointed to other cases of detained bodies from near the displacement corridor to the central and southern Gaza Strip, which he designated as being on the Saladin main road.

Euro-Med reported that the Israeli army also excavated a mass grave established more than ten days ago in a courtyard of the Shifa Medical Center, removed the bodies of the deceased and detained them.

He noted that while dozens of bodies were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which transported them to the southern Gaza Strip to complete the burial process, Israeli forces were still holding dozens of bodies in custody. martyr.

The European Mediterranean Observatory suspects that organs were stolen from the dead bodies, including observations by Gaza doctors who quickly examined some bodies after they were released and found that organs such as corneas had been stolen. The eyes and cochlea, as well as other vital organs such as the liver, kidneys, and heart.

Doctors at several hospitals told the Euro-Mediterranean team that forensic examinations were insufficient to prove or deny that organs had been stolen, especially given the previous surgical intervention on several bodies.

They said it was impossible to conduct an accurate analytical examination of the bodies of the dead detained by Israeli forces amid heavy airstrikes and artillery attacks and a steady influx of wounded, but they found some signs of possible stolen organs. .

The European Mediterranean Observatory stated that Israel has a long history of seizing the corpses of Palestinian martyrs. In addition to approximately 255 corpses and 75 missing persons in the digital cemetery, Israel has also seized at least 145 Palestinian corpses in special refrigerators. Their bodies were admitted into custody.

He noted that Israel relies on withholding the bodies of dead Palestinians by burying them in so-called “enemy combatant graves,” which are clandestine mass graves located in specific areas, such as military closed zones. Performed anonymously, a number is engraved on a metal plate attached to a corpse or remains.

Euro-Med reported that it had previously been observed that the Israeli authorities deliberately released the bodies to their families and West Bank residents after detaining them for a period of time, and froze them to minus 40 degrees Celsius, stipulating that the bodies could not be dissected, which may have concealed a certain Some organs were stolen.

He stressed that in recent years, Israel has taken steps to delegitimize the issue, justifying the seizure of Palestinian bodies and theft of their organs, including a 2019 decision by the Israeli Supreme Court allowing military rulers to seize corpses And temporarily bury them in a so-called digital cemetery. At the end of 2021, the Israeli Knesset enacted a law authorizing the police and army to preserve Palestinian remains.

In recent years, there have been reports that the bodies of Palestinian martyrs seized by Israel have been illegally exploited, including stealing their organs and using them in Israeli university medical school laboratories.

In her book “On Their Bodies,” Israeli doctor Mel Weiss revealed that organs were stolen from dead Palestinians and transplanted into Jewish patients for research at Israeli university medical schools.

But what is more dangerous than this is that Yehuda Hess, the former director of Israel’s Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine, admitted that there was no investigation into the theft of human organs, tissues and skin from Palestinian deceased persons at different times. with the knowledge or consent of their family members.

The Euro-Mediterranean Observatory confirms that Israel is the only country that seizes the bodies of the dead as a systematic policy and ranks as the world’s largest center for the illicit trade in human organs, a practice it is content to justify. The policy of withholding bodies is an “attempt to intimidate security” and ignores international charters and agreements prohibiting this.

He stressed that Israel needs to be bound by the rules of international law, which stipulate that the bodies of those who die during armed conflicts must be respected and protected, while the Fourth Geneva Convention emphasizes the need for parties to a conflict to take all possible measures. Measures to prevent looting of the dead and mutilation of their bodies.

The European Mediterranean Observatory also confirmed that the refusal to hand over the bodies of the deceased to the families of the deceased for a dignified burial in accordance with their religious beliefs may constitute collective punishment prohibited by Article 50 of the Hague Regulations and Article 33 of the European Convention. Fourth Geneva Convention.

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