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After a protracted legal battle: Israel returned most of the bodies of dead Palestinians it had kept for many years

For many years, HaMoked has waged a legal battle to compel the State of Israel to return the long withheld bodies of dead Palestinians to their families.

In May 20, 2013, in the context of HaMoked's petitions on the issue, the state notified that the Minister of Defense had instructed the security establishment to act for the prompt transfer of all of the bodies to the Palestinian Authority. Progress was made in the following months, and most of the bodies HaMoked was striving to recover on behalf of the families were forensically identified.

The state finally notified HaMoked that on January 19, 2014, the first body, with the DNA results proving its identity, would be handed to the Palestinian side. And  so, during January, Israel began returning the bodies of loved-ones to their Palestinian families. To date, May 2014, Israel has returned 26 of the 33 bodies HaMoked has been striving to recover.

HaMoked calls on Israel to quickly complete the process of returning all of the bodies, and stresses that allowing the families to fulfill their right to bury their loved-ones according to custom, is not an "act of leniency" or a political gesture", but Israel's obligation. In this context, the political or diplomatic considerations Israel has employed in the past are patently extraneous and unacceptable. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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