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According to Palestinian sources: by the end of 2015, Israel will return 119 bodies of Palestinians in its possession

Since the early 1990s, HaMoked has been acting for the return of bodies of Palestinian fatalities held by Israel back to their families, to allow their proper burial according to faith and customs. Over the years, HaMoked’s diligence and perseverance have led to a change in Israel’s policy on the matter, inter alia, through the formulation of a military document on the manner of identification and burial of “enemy dead”. A major breakthrough was achieved in 2012, when Israel – in a step presented as a gesture towards the Palestinian Authority – returned 91 bodies it had held. Nine of the bereaved families involved were represented by HaMoked; one of them was party to High Court petition HaMoked had filed back in 2005(!). In 2014, following a series of petitions by HaMoked to the High Court of Justice (HCJ), Israel returned 29 more bodies. However, Israel still holds the remains of many other Palestinian fatalities.

In May-June 2015, HaMoked filed seven additional petitions to the HCJ, demanding that Israel return to the families the remains of their loved ones, it had been holding inside its territory since the second intifada. It now appears that this legal battle has been successful: on September 17, 2015, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported that Israel has pledged to the Palestinian Authority to return the remains of 119 Palestinians fatalities it has been withholding; the return of the bodies will proceed subject to forensic identification to be completed by the end of 2015.

HaMoked has not yet received official notice to that effect. (02) 627 1698   (02) 627 6317

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