Int’l Committee Must Investigate Israel’s Holding of Bodies in Gaza – Euro-Med Monitor

Gaza reeled under massacres carried out by the Israeli army. (Photo: via Social Media)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The Geneva-based organization Euro-Med Monitor called on Sunday for the creation of an independent international investigation committee into organ theft suspicions.

In a statement published on its website, the group said that “Euro-Med Monitor has documented the Israeli army’s confiscation of dozens of dead bodies from Al-Shifa Medical Complex and the Indonesian Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, and others from the vicinity of the so-called ‘safe corridor’ (Salah al-Din Road) designated for displaced people heading to the central and southern parts of the Strip.”

Euro-Med Monitor added that the “Israeli army also dug up and confiscated the bodies from a mass grave that was established more than 10 days ago in one of the Al-Shifa Medical Complex’s courtyards.”

“While dozens of corpses were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross, which in turn transported them to the southern Gaza Strip to complete the burial process, the Israeli army is still holding the bodies of dozens of dead people,” the statement read.

According to the statement, “Concerns about organ theft from the corpses were brought up by Euro-Med Monitor, which cited reports from medical professionals in Gaza who quickly examined a few bodies after their release.”

“Doctors at several Gazan hospitals told the Euro-Med Monitor team that organ theft cannot be proven or disproven solely by forensic medical examination, since multiple bodies underwent surgical procedures prior to death,” according to the group. 

Therefore, “it was impossible for them to conduct a full analytical examination of the recovered corpses given the intense air and artillery attacks and influx of wounded civilians, but they detected several signs of possible organ theft by the Israeli military.”

Israel has a long history of holding onto the bodies of dead Palestinians, Euro-Med Monitor said, as it holds the remains of at least 145 Palestinians in its morgues and approximately 255 in its “Cemetery of Numbers”, which is near the Jordanian border and off-limits to the public, in addition to 75 missing people who have not been identified by Israel.

According to an earlier report by Euro-Med Monitor, Israeli authorities have kept the dead bodies of Palestinians in subfreezing temperatures in order to ensure that they “remain undisturbed and to possibly hide the theft of organs”.

“There have been reports in recent years of the unlawful use of Palestinian corpses held by Israel, including the theft of organs and their use in Israeli university medical school labs,” the statement highlighted.

“Israeli doctor Meira Weiss disclosed in her book Over Their Dead Bodies that organs taken from dead Palestinians were utilized in medical research at Israeli universities’ medical faculties and were transplanted into Jewish-Israeli patients’ bodies.”

The statement also noted that “Israel is thought to be the biggest hub for the illegal global trade in human organs, according to a 2008 investigation by the American CNN network, which also revealed that Israel participated in the theft of organs from dead Palestinians for illegal use.”

Euro-Med Monitor reiterated that “Israel must abide by the rules of international law, which stipulate the necessity of respecting and protecting the bodies of the dead during armed conflicts.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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