The Israeli occupation regime has agreed today July 4th to release 84 dead bodies belonging to Palestinians.
Some of these corpses have been kept in a collective numbered and unnamed mass graves/ Mortuary cabinets being denied the right of burial as their loved ones along with media personal and humanitarian organizations were denied access to them.
The families and loved ones of the people whose corpses are being held have once and once again organized rallies and petitions protesting being denied the right to get closures, giving their farewells and paying their respects to the dead, and granting them the rest they deserve through a dignified burial
The occupation government still holds the remains of 105 Palestinian martyrs in Mortuary cabinets. It holds another 256 in mass graves marked only by numbers among which lie the bodies of 9 children, 3 women, and 8 prisoners who had spent long periods of their lives in Israeli prisons.
The occupation constitutes a violation of the human dignity of Palestinians in their life and long after their death.
This qualifies to be considered as a method of collective punishment and a violation of the principles of international humanitarian law and relevant international norms.
Poorly buried bodies
the ministry also explained that the occupation uses postmortem detention as a means to blackmail the families of the martyrs, who live in anxiety, fear, and anticipation for the fate of their children.
According to data circulated by the Israeli press, these cemeteries lack the minimum conditions that make them suitable for burying humans
making some of the graves completely gone due to soil erosion, and the way in which the martyrs are buried in them lack any respect for their humanity as most of the times the martyres bodies are buried directly in the soil without a cement barrier to hold their bodies inside. Also, sometimes more than one martyr is buried in the same pit.
Reports done by Palestinian researchers confirm that the four tombs that were discovered in recent years are located within the green line, which is the cemetery of “Jisr Ya’qub’s banat”, which is located in a military area at the junction of the borders of Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria, and includes the remains of hundreds of Palestinians and Lebanese who were killed in the war. 1982 and later, with about 500 graves
the second is the“Bir al-Masseur” cemetery, which is located in a closed military area between Jericho and the Jordan Valley, is surrounded by a wall with an iron gate on with a large sign is hung with the inscription in Hebrew, “Cemetery for the Victims of the Enemy,” and contains more than 100 graves.
the other two are, “Revidim” cemetery in the Jordan Valley; And the cemetery of “Shahita” in the village of Wadi al-Hamam, north of Tiberias, specifically at the foot of the mountain that witnessed the Battle of Hattin.
An old-new strategy of further occupation
It is worth noting that this isn’t just some old practice, in May seven new dead bodies were added to the pile– among which is Ra’ad Hazem the man accused of performing an operation in Tel Aviv that resulted in the death of three Israeli settlers– resulting of a total of 13 new courpses since the beginning of the current year according to Jerusalem legal aid and humanitarian aid center (JLAC)
the Israeli crime of detaining the bodies of Palestinian martyrs has started ever since the beginning of its occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1948.
The report pointed out that the occupation authorities halted this policy in 2008, but resumed practicing it, by a decision of the Israeli Cabinet, as a tool of control and punishment for the Palestinians in October 13, 2015.
While the occupation army was releasing the bodies of the martyrs of the West Bank with greater “ease”, and with Fewer restrictions, the occupation police were imposing harsh and unfair conditions on the delivery of the bodies of the martyrs holding the Jerusalem ID.
these conditions included such as handing the body after midnight and demanding immediate burial after receiving the body in the presence of only a very small number of relatives, with the payment of a financial guarantee of up to 6 thousand dollars.
In September 2019, the Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision allowing the military commander to detain the bodies of Palestinian martyrs and bury them temporarily for the purposes of their future use as bargaining chips.
Then, in December 2021, Benny Gantz approved the policy of not handing over the bodies of those who carried out the commando operations, regardless of the results of the operation or their political affiliation
members of the Knesset rushed to push for the legislation of a law authorizing the occupation police to hold the bodies of the martyrs, especially since there is no Israeli legal basis that gives the police that authority.
Palestinian spare parts
The occupation refuses to give information about the places where most of the bodies are being held, and one of the most dangerous matters related to the martyrs that is circulated from time to time about Israel’s exploitation of the bodies of the martyrs, the organ theft in treating Israeli patients as bodes from Palestinian mayrteres were received with some of their organs missing.
Perhaps the most grotesque of these is the establishment of the “Israeli Skin Bank” in 1985 to treat Israeli soldiers who suffered burns after the main rabbinical council issued a fatwa on its legitimacy, and the “brutal bank” proved its usefulness during the second intifada in saving the lives of many Israelis who were injured during the aggression against Palestinian citizens and the continuous attacks and wars, according to medical sources. An Israeli specialist in treating burns.
Illegal and inhumane
these practices require that Israel be legally prosecuted according to to the Geneva Convention, which states that subjecting persons to medical examinations constitutes a war crime or a grave breach, and the removal of organs, etc., is exactly the same as performing medical examinations by force.”
They go against a number of international and humanitarian laws some of which are
Geneva Convention (1929)
Article 4, fifth paragraph, of the 1929 Geneva Convention provides that belligerents shall ensure that “the dead are honorably interred”.
Geneva POW Convention
Article 76, third paragraph, of the 1929 Geneva POW Convention provides: “The belligerents shall ensure that prisoners of war who have died in captivity are honorably buried.”
Geneva Convention I
Article 17 of the 1949 Geneva Convention I provide:
[Parties to the conflict] shall further ensure that the dead are honorably interred, if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged, that their graves are respected, grouped if possible according to the nationality of the deceased, properly maintained and marked so that they may always be found.
Geneva Convention III
Article 120 of the 1949 Geneva Convention III provides
The detaining authorities shall ensure that prisoners of war who have died in captivity are honorably buried, if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged, and that their graves are respected, suitably maintained, and marked so as to be found at any time.
Geneva Convention IV
Article 130 of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV provides:
The detaining authorities shall ensure that internees who die while interned are honorably buried, 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.
A constant reminder
It should be noted, that on 3/8/2008, the Palestinian Council of Ministers decided to consider August 27 of every year as a national day to retrieve the bodies of Palestinian and Arab martyrs. To exercise popular and public pressure towards an effective move to reveal the fate of the bodies of the martyrs and the missing, and to enable the families of the martyrs to retrieve the bodies of their children.