PA: Israel Returned Wrong Body

Israel wrongly identified at least one of the bodies returned to the West Bank in May, the Palestinian Authority minister of justice said Wednesday.

Israel in May returned the bodies of 91 Palestinians interred in numbered graves in what it described as a "gesture" to President Mahmoud Abbas.

The family of Nasser al-Buz received what was alleged to be his body, but they demanded a DNA test to verify the identity.

Justice Minister Ali Muhanna said a sample of the remains was sent to a DNA laboratory in Jordan, which found it was not al-Buz’s body.

Muhanna said the PA would send an official letter to Israel demanding the return of al-Buz’s remains.

Al-Buz’s brother Ahmad told Ma’an in May that his family would not bury him without proof of his identity. They had not heard any news of Nasser since he disappeared near the Jordanian border in 1989.

"After all these years of waiting, it’s our right to make sure that what we bury is really our brother," he said.

Nasser al-Buz founded the Black Panther military wing of Fatah and was wanted for years by Israel. He was on his way to Jordan when he disappeared, his brother said.

DNA tests were only conducted on three of the 91 bodies returned in May. Tests found the bodies of Ramzi Jamal Shaine and Anis Rafiq Khalil were correctly identified.

Since the 1960s, Israel has withheld the bodies of hundreds of Palestinians, interred in numbered, rather than named, graves in a cemetery in the Jordan Valley.

(Ma’an)

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