Israel returns the wrong body to the family of a slain Palestinian teenager | Israeli-Palestinian conflict News
The confusion draws attention to Israel’s policy of restraining the bodies of Palestinians who allegedly carried out attacks.
Israeli soldiers returned the remains of a Palestinian teenager who was killed in October in the occupied West Bank, only for the family to tell him that it was someone else’s body.
The macabre confusion, which the military called an “unfortunate mistake,” was likely to draw attention to Israel’s policy of holding the remains of Palestinians killed while carrying out attacks, which it said human rights groups, amounts to collective punishment of bereaved families. .
Israel had planned to return the bodies of two Palestinians – Isra Khazimia and Amjad Abu Sultan – on “humanitarian grounds”. At the time of the alleged attacks, Khazimia reportedly suffered mental health issues while Abu Sultan was underage.
But when they handed over Abu Sultan’s remains, his family informed the soldiers that it was the wrong body. The remains have not been publicly identified.
“When the body returned, it was revealed that the body had been misidentified. This unfortunate error is being investigated by the relevant authorities, ”the IDF said in a statement. He apologized for the mistake and said the correct remains would be returned to the family on Saturday.
The Palestinian Civil Affairs Committee, which coordinates day-to-day activities with Israel, said it was Abu Sultan’s family who noticed that the body was not that of their son. The family could not be reached immediately for comment.
Abu Sultan, 14, was killed on October 14 in the occupied West Bank town of Beit Jala, near Bethlehem.
A witness said Israeli soldiers shot Abu Sultan, who was lighting a Molotov cocktail, without any warning or alert.
“Israeli forces routinely unlawfully kill Palestinian children with impunity, using excessive force and unwarranted intentional lethal force,” said Ayed Abu Eqtaish, director of Defense for Children International-Palestine’s accountability program, after the death of ‘Abu Sultan.
Israeli police shot dead Khazimia, a mother of four, in September when she allegedly tried to stab an officer in Jerusalem’s Old City. His remains were returned to the Salem checkpoint near the city of Jenin in the northern West Bank.
Local sources said the IDF prohibited Palestinians from gathering near the checkpoint and only allowed Khazimia’s father to be present to receive his body, in addition to an ambulance driven only by the checkpoint. driver.
Israel says its policy of detaining the remains of Palestinian attackers is necessary to deter future attacks and for possible trade in the remains of two Israeli soldiers held by the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Israel holds remains of around 80 Palestinians, according to human rights organization Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), in addition to 254 bodies buried in number in “number cemeteries” – secret cemeteries where their graves are marked with numbered plaques.
JLAC and the Adalah Legal Center for the Rights of Arab Minorities claim that Israel is the only country in the world to practice necroviolence, a policy of confiscating human remains, in which it relies on regulations dating back to 1945 (during the British Mandate) as the basis of its policy.
International law considers this practice to be a violation of human rights. According to the Geneva Conventions, the parties to an armed conflict must bury the deceased in an honorable manner, “if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged and that their graves are respected, properly maintained and marked in such a way that they can always be recognized ”.