An Israeli Knesset member says there is evidence showing that deceased Palestinians were stripped bare of their vital organs while in police custody in Tel Aviv.
Israeli politician and leader of the Arab nationalist party, Ahmad Tibi, said on Saturday that a medical institution in Israel harvested appendages from the bodies of dead Palestinians in the 1990’s.
According to Tibi, the body parts, which included heart arteries, bones, and corneal tissue, were used in organ transplants for Israeli soldiers.
Meanwhile, the Israeli television has shown a documentary in this regard, claiming that Israeli politician and Knesset member Aryeh Eldad was the main culprit behind the bodysnatching incident.
The organ theft issue was first brought to the fore in a report published earlier in August by Sweden’s largest circulation daily, Aftonbladet.
According to the report, Israeli soldiers were snatching and killing Palestinian men to harvest their organs for sale on the black market. It sheds light on the case of Bilal Ahmed Ghanem, a 19-year-old Palestinian man, who was shot dead in 1992 by Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Imatin.
The report claimed that Ghanem’s body was then abducted and returned several days later by the Israeli military with a cut from the stomach to the neck that had been stitched up.
When asked what happened to the body, the soldiers told Bilal’s family that he had undergone an autopsy in Tel Aviv. The family, however, claims that his organs had been stolen.
After the incident, at least 20 Palestinian families told Bostrom that they suspected that the Israeli military had taken the organs of their sons after they had been killed by Israeli forces and their bodies were taken away.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry reacted with anger to the report, calling it "a grotesque libel to incite anti-Semitic sentiments."
Their anger was widely believed to be due to the fact that it had made reference to the recent arrests in New Jersey of several prominent US Jews for a number of alleged crimes, including brokering the sale of organs for transplant.
In 2004, pathologist Yehuda Hiss was removed from his post as head of the state-run L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine after a Health Ministry investigation found that he had been involved for years in taking body parts, such as legs and ovaries, without family permission during autopsies, and selling them to medical schools for use in research and training.
This is while in July 2009, a New York Rabbi, Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, was arrested after it became clear that he was the main broker for a major human organs trafficking ring.
According to Knesset Member Muhammad Baraka there are more than 600 dead Palestinians’ bodies buried in what Israel calls ‘the number graveyards’, which were created for freedom fighters Palestinians killed in combat with the Israeli army.
Baraka requested in August that Israel return the bodies to their families, but his demand is yet to be taken into account by Israeli authorities.