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30.10.2014

HaMoked to Ministry of Defense: Provide information about the bodies of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip held by Israel

In the war that took place in the summer of 2014, more than 2,200 Palestinians were killed as a direct result of Israel’s air and ground assault. HaMoked staff assumes Israel is holding the bodies of some of those killed based on experience gained over many years of working in this field, and given the fact that Israel had no issue with holding the bodies of the dead to be used as bargaining chips in negotiations in the past, as well as reports that the bodies of two Hamas commanders were taken by Israel during the fighting.

With this in mind, on October 22, 2014, HaMoked made an application under the Freedom of Information Act to the Ministry of Defense, asking whether the bodies of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip were taken to Israel during the fighting and if so how many. HaMoked also asked where the bodies were stored and whether the identity of the deceased was known.

In a separate communication, HaMoked asked for the ministry’s help in locating a Palestinian youth from Rafah, last seen in Rafah by a friend in early August, lying motionless and covered in blood, near some Israeli soldiers, maybe dead, maybe wounded. There has been no trace of him since then and his family does not know what happened to him. HaMoked asked whether the youth was still alive, whether he was being held by Israel and if so where.

HaMoked recalls that respect for the dead forms part of the constitutional right to dignity which is anchored in both international law and the rulings of Israel’s Supreme Court. Israel has a duty to allow families who wish to bury their dead according to tradition and custom to realize this right.
mail@hamoked.org.il (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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