Adalah: Israel’s policy of holding bodies of martyrs is inhuman and violates international law

Occupied Palestine (QNN)- A human rights group said that holding bodies of dead Palestinians and not returning them to their families for proper burial is a cruel practice and a violation of international humanitarian law and United Nations Convention against Torture.

The statement of Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights came as a response to directions by the Israeli war minister, Naftali Bennett, who ordered all bodies of Palestinians who attacked or who are alleged to have attacked Israelis to be held and not returned to their families.

Adalah’s General Director, Attorney Hassan Jabareen, stated that, “No country in the world allows itself to hold and to use bodies as a political bargaining chip. These practices violate international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law, including the UN Convention against Torture, which absolutely prohibits such cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”

The occupation state currently holds bodies of 51 Palestinians, according Muhammad Alyan, representative of the families whose sons or daughters have been held since April 2016, reported WAFA.

Adalah, which represents families of martyrs, whose bodies are held by the Israelis, stressed that, “We will challenge this decision and work to rescind these instructions before Israeli courts and internationally, including through the UN human rights treaty bodies and other forums.”

On 9 September, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the occupation state may continue to hold the bodies of Palestinians as bargaining chips. A rule that marked “the first time in history that a court – anywhere in the world – authorizes state authorities to hold the bodies of individuals under its control, to which international laws governing occupation apply, and to use them as bargaining chips. It undermines the most basic principles of universal humanity, and violates both Israeli law and international law”, according to Adalah.

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