Euro-Med urges probe on Israel’s holding of Palestinian bodies

Organ theft suspicions

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GENEVA — Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor has called for an independent international investigation into suspicions of organ theft, expressing concerns that the Israeli Occupation Forces are accused of holding the bodies of dozens of Palestinians killed since October 7.اضافة اعلان

The organization has extensively documented the actions of Israeli Occupation Forces, including the confiscation of dead bodies from medical facilities in the northern Gaza Strip and near the designated safe corridor for displaced individuals.

Disturbingly, reports indicate that bodies were even taken from a mass grave at Al-Shifa Medical Complex.

While some corpses were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross for proper burial in the southern Gaza Strip, the Israeli army reportedly continues to retain the bodies of many others. Euro-Med Monitor has raised concerns about organ theft based on reports from Gaza medical professionals who observed missing cochleas, corneas, and vital organs like livers, kidneys, and hearts in some bodies.

Medical experts in Gaza emphasize the challenges in definitively proving or disproving organ theft through forensic examinations, given the circumstances of surgical procedures prior to death and the limitations imposed by ongoing military operations.

Euro-Med Monitor points to Israel's historical practice of holding onto the bodies of deceased Palestinians, with at least 145 in morgues and around 255 in the secretive "Numbers Cemetery" near the Jordanian border. An additional 75 people remain missing and unidentified by Israeli authorities.

The Geneva-based rights organization alleges that Israel stores Palestinian bodies in "enemy combatant graves," covert mass burial sites within closed military zones, marked only with metal plates.

Disturbingly, Euro-Med Monitor asserts that Israel has made it lawful to hold and potentially steal organs from dead Palestinians, citing a 2019 Israeli Supreme Court ruling and subsequent laws passed by the Knesset. Previous reports indicate that Israel has kept Palestinian bodies in subfreezing temperatures to prevent disturbance and potentially conceal organ theft. There have been allegations of unauthorized use of Palestinian corpses, including the theft of organs for use in Israeli medical research and transplantation.

Israeli doctor Meira Weiss and the former director of Israel's Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine, Yehuda Hess, have admitted to the use of organs and tissues from dead Palestinians without their relatives' knowledge or approval.

Euro-Med Monitor concludes that Israel, as the only country systematically holding the bodies of those it kills, is a major hub for the illegal global trade in human organs, violating international charters and agreements.

The allegations have prompted a call for adherence to international law, emphasizing the necessity of respecting and protecting the bodies of the deceased during armed conflicts, as outlined in the Fourth Geneva Convention. Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor warns that refusal to release bodies may amount to collective punishment, a violation of international regulations.

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