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Israel minister: Bodies of slain Palestinians will not be returned

Ayelet Shaked, Israeli Minister of Justice
Ayelet Shaked, Israeli Minister of Justice

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked announced on Sunday that bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli occupation forces would not be returned to their families for burial, Quds Press reported.

“It must be clear that the bodies of terrorists will not be returned,” Shaked told journalists yesterday, in reference to Palestinians killed at the hands of Israeli occupation forces.

“There can be two tracks of going about it, as I said, either another discussion, which is the preferred route, or legislation.”

On Thursday, the Israel Supreme Court ruled that the state is not allowed to hold bodies of Palestinians to be used as “bargaining chips”.

Based on the ruling, the Israeli government was given a period of six months to appeal before it must release the bodies of slain Palestinians unconditionally.

Read: New law to allow Israel Police to block return of slain Palestinians

Israeli occupation forces have withheld the bodies of hundreds of Palestinians, including ten killed during the uprising which started in October 2015. It is believed that they will be used in future negotiations surrounding the release of Israeli soldiers who have been captured as prisoners of war in the besieged Gaza Strip.

The bodies of the Palestinians are held in the cemetery of numbers which is a closed military area which civilians and NGOs are unable to access.

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