The march was called for by the families of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces, as they demand their right to bury their loved ones in an honorable manner.
The march was attended by scores of Palestinians who chanted slogans and waved banners demanding the immediate handover of the martyrs whose bodies are either buried in Israeli number cemeteries or frozen in Israeli mortuaries.
Israeli occupation authorities have escalated the practice of withholding the bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces, claiming that funerals of Palestinians had provided grounds for “incitement” against Israel.
International law considers the practice a violation of human rights. The Geneva Conventions say that the parties of an armed conflict must bury the deceased in an honorable way, and “if possible, according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged and that their graves are respected, properly maintained, and marked in such a way that they can always be recognized”.
According to rights groups, the bodies of at least 117 Palestinians, including 12 children, killed by Israeli forces since 2015 are currently withheld by the Israeli occupation authorities.
In 2017, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the state has no legal basis to withhold bodies, but reversed course in 2019 and upheld the government’s policy to withhold bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation troops.
According to Adalah Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights, an NGO, Israel is the only country in the world that has a policy of confiscation of human remains, where it relies on regulations dating back to 1945 (during the British Mandate) as grounds for its policy.