For the first time, Israel provided a list of names and place of burial of 123 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and whose bodies have been withheld by Israel since then, today said the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC).
It said in a statement that it received a response from the Israeli prosecution office to the petition submitted by JLAC to the Israeli High Court demanding to know names and burial site of the dead Palestinians. The High Court is scheduled to consider the petition on February 10.
The response included for the first time a list of the full names of 123 dead Palestinians, which would make easier for their families to identify them.
It said that JLAC was constantly demanding that Israel turn over the corpses to their families for proper burial, noting that withholding them violates international laws and conventions, and that by withholding the corpses for bargaining purposes actually means trafficking with human bodies, which is an unprecedented behavior for states.
JLAC attorney, Suleiman Shaheen, who represented the families in the petitions, described this development as “an important breakthrough,” particularly since the Israeli prosecutor had informed the court when it started to look into this matter in 2016 that it was not possible to locate any of the bodies due to lack of documentation, and that some were buried by private companies without keeping any official documents for them.
He said the Israeli prosecution office submitted its written statement prior to next Monday’s court to collectively demand, for the first time, to establish a DNA database and to take specimens from families of the deceased to help identify the corpses, as demanded by JLAC in the petitions submitted in 2016.