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Palestinians petition Israeli Supreme Court to return bodies of slain family members

Israeli supreme court [File photo]
Israeli supreme court [File photo]

The families of three Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces in June have petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court to have the bodies of their relatives released for burial, according to a report by the Ma’an News Agency.

Muhammed Mahmoud, an attorney from the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, petitioned the court yesterday on behalf of the families of 18-year-olds Adel Ankoush and Baraa Saleh and 19-year-old Osama Atta who all come from Deir Abu Mashaal in the occupied West Bank.

The three men were shot dead on 16 June, while conducting a combined stabbing and shooting attack outside of Jerusalem’s Old City, killing an Israeli Border Police officer.

#PalestinianLivesMatter

The Israeli authorities have routinely withheld the bodies of Palestinian assailants or alleged assailants, a practice widely condemned by local and international human rights groups.

In addition, the three families in question have lost their homes after Israeli authorities carried out punitive house demolitions, another widespread policy condemned as collective punishment.

Read: Israel blows up Palestinian home near Ramallah

In total, according to the Committee, Israel is withholding the bodies of 249 slain Palestinians who have been buried in the cemeteries of numbers over the years.

In a statement released last week, Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi denounced this Israeli policy, adding the move was “a blatant disregard for life and the sanctity of death, and is yet another violation of international law and international humanitarian law.”

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