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The Detained Deceased

The Israeli government has a long standing policy of withholding the bodies of slain Palestinians.

Jerusalem24 – Rula Zughayar – Israel continues to withhold the bodies of deceased Palestinians and postpone their return to their families. In this episode of Wake-Up Palestine, we ask Mr. Issam Al-Arouri from the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC) to discuss this policy thoroughly. The challenges they face at JLAC working on retrieving the bodies of slain Palestinians, and the outcomes they have attained.

Initially, Arouri expressed how this practice from the Israeli government is nothing but a form of collective punishment towards the Palestinian people. He adds that such cases are the most sensitive and complicated cases ever. They are often emotionally harsh on both JLAC staff and the families when they work with when they go empty-handed or with minor results.

“Time is an Enemy” as time passes, the amount of anger, frustration, and disappointment is increased.

Regarding this policy, plenty of legal battles with the Israeli government took place. According to an Israeli Supreme Court decision in 2017, the policy of withholding the bodies of deceased Palestinians as bargaining chips is illegal. Yet, the court still allowed the Israeli government to keep the withheld bodies for another six months unless the Knesset enacts a primary legislation that explicitly and directly permits the implementation of the policy. JLAC considers this practice as a grave violation to the domestic and international humanitarian law and international human rights law. JLAC also calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all bodies withheld by Israel and demands that the policy of withholding corpses be repealed. The human dignity of the dead and that of their families is a fundamental and basic right that should not be turned into political movements.

Its noteworthy to mention that at JLAC, the ones following such cases are constantly changed due to the physical and emotional damage and pressure they face to stay sane.

Listen to the whole interview in the link below:

 Wake-Up Palestine broadcasts everyday from Sunday to Thursday at 8:30 AM

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