Israeli Supreme Court allows state to seize bodies of slain Palestinians as bargaining chip

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- The Israeli High Court Monday gave the Israeli military the permission to keep bodies of Palestinians killed by Israelis as a bargaining chip in any future exchange negotiations, according to the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC).

JLAC said that an expanded High Court hearing of seven judges ruled 4 to 3 in favour of giving the Israeli army the power to withhold the bodies of dead Palestinians in order to use them for such purposes.

The court justified such rule saying that Israeli emergency regulations permit the Israeli military to bury Palestinians in cemeteries of numbers “based on considerations that take into account state security, civil order, and the need to negotiate for the return of the bodies of Israeli soldiers”, according to Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.

“This is the first time in history that a court – anywhere in the world – has authorised state authorities to hold the bodies of subjects under its control, to which international laws governing occupation apply, and to use them as bargaining chips,” noted Adalah. “This is one of the most extreme Supreme Court rulings since 1948, as it undermines the most basic principles of universal humanity. The court ruling violates Israeli and international laws, most notably the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.”

Israel is withholding bodies of 304 Palestinians and Arabs killed since the 1967 occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in what is known as the numbers cemetery. It is also holding bodies of 52 Palestinians its forces had killed since 2015.

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