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‘UN should probe Israel’s refusal to release bodies of dead Palestinians’

December 22, 2015 at 10:49 am

There is no legal or ethical justification for Israel to keep the bodies of 50 dead Palestinians in custody, the Minister for Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqe said yesterday, adding that the UN should open a probe into the issue.

Qaraqe’s statement came during a visit to the tent set up in Abu Dis by protesters demanding Israel hand over the bodies of Palestinians killed by its forces.

The Palestinian minister met with the families of the martyrs in the presence of Fatah representatives in Abu Dis, Mohamed Rabie and Anwar Badr, in addition to a number of freed prisoners.

“Israel is the only state in the world that punishes martyrs and their families and violates all ethical, religious and legal standards,” he said, criticising it for preventing families from receiving the bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.

It is the families’ “right” to receive the bodies and arrange appropriate funerals, he added.

Qaraqe called on states who are parties of the Geneva Conventions to pressure Israel into respecting the conventions which stipulate that bodies of the dead be handed over to their families so that the families are able to bury their dead and follow any needed procedures in line with their religious or cultures convictions.

Accused the Israeli authorities of “piracy”, Qaraqe said there are speculations that Israel is deliberately keeping the bodies in custody so as to hide its crimes.