Israeli lawmaker Mohammad Barakeh has backed organ harvest allegations against Tel Aviv over its practice of keeping the dead bodies of slain Palestinians.
"We have the right to question the reasons why Israel is keeping the bodies of martyrs and what secret they seek to preserve," the chairman of far-left Hadash party said in Nablus on Tuesday.
"Is it that the bodies were mutilated? My answer is yes until proven otherwise. Is it that their bodies have been stolen? My answer is yes, until proven otherwise," he added.
The outrageous scandal was laid bare last month by Sweden’s best-seller tabloid, Aftonbladet, which printed an article on how the Israeli army kidnapped Palestinian youths and returned their bodies mutilated a few days later.
The revelation infuriated Israeli officials and prompted them to ask the Swedish government to condemn the article and its author, a demand Sweden flatly rejected.
Speaking at a conference, Barakeh called on Israel to return bodies of Palestinians buried in the occupied territories, and said why Tel Aviv continues to hold the bodies while "there is no worse way to punish a man and his family than with his death."
"The burden of proof falls on Israel, and as long as it refuses to say what the status of the bodies is or return them, it is hiding something awful," he warned.
The Palestinian Authority officials have demanded that Israel return the bodies of the Palestinians it killed.
They said "the world must be careful regarding what Israel does," describing Tel Aviv’s efforts to hide bodies of Palestinian victims as aimed at distorting evidence of its crimes, including organs trafficking.
According to Palestinian human rights organizations, Israel is holding 275 bodies which it refuses to return to their families.