Sunday, March 3, 2024

Israel stealing organs from Palestinian bodies, say Gaza authorities 

Photo: Anadolu Agency

Local authorities in Gaza said on Tuesday that the Israeli forces have been harvesting organs from the bodies of Palestinians. After receiving dozens of bodies of slain Palestinians, they examined the dead bodies to find that there were significant signs of the theft of organs.

“After examining the bodies, it is clear that the features of those killed have changed greatly in a clear indication that the Israeli occupation had stolen vital organs from them,” Gaza media office said in a statement.

On December 23, around 80 bodies of murdered Palestinians were handed over to Gaza authorities through the Karam Abu Salem border crossing, with organs missing in all of them.

The bodies arrived inside a container, some intact, while others were in pieces, and some others had decomposed,” The director of Mohammed Yousef El-Najar Hospital in Rafah city, Marwan Al-Hams, said.

They are believed to have either been detained by Israeli soldiers during ground operations and then killed, or seized after being killed in attacks.

According to the statement , the bodies were returned without any identification of the dead and the Israeli army refused to disclose where the bodies came from.

The statement also mentioned several previous instances of organ theft since Israel’s war on Gaza began on 7 October.

Earlier, there had been reports of incidents with bodies missing organs and bodies exhumed from graveyards.

Even after the incident has been reported by the media across the world, the Israeli authorities are yet to comment on it.

Citing this impunity, the statement strongly  criticised the inaction of international organisations operating in Gaza, including the International Committee of the Red Cross. 

The Quds News Network reported that the bodies will be buried in mass graves.

Last month, Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor called for the creation of an independent international investigative committee into suspected organ theft.

Euro-Med Monitor had documented the Israeli force’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.

In 2009, Israel had admitted that pathologists have been harvesting organs from dead Palestinians for a long time. Meira Weiss, an Israeli doctor, had detailed the practice of stealing organs in her book “Over Their Dead Bodies.”

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