Re­mains of four Pales­tini­ans buried by Is­rael

The Miracle - - Ational & Int -

Is­rael has buried re­mains of four Pales­tini­ans in what is re­ferred to as ceme­ter­ies of num­bers - mass graves in undis­closed ar­eas marked by num­bers rather than names. The burial is the lat­est ses­sion re­gard­ing the case of Pales­tinian bod­ies with­held by the Is­raeli army, the Is­raeli pros­e­cu­tion told the Supreme Court in Jerusalem. The four buried Pales­tini­ans are: Ab­del­hamid Abu Srour, Rami Awartani, Mo­hammed Faqih, and Mo­hammed al-Tarayrah. The court case held on Wed­nes­day was sup­posed to reach a de­ci­sion on whether or not the six bod­ies, most held for over a year, will be re­turned to their fam­i­lies for a fi­nal farewell and burial. The case for the re­mains of the Pales­tini­ans was jointly sub­mit­ted on be­half of their fam­i­lies by the Jerusalem Le­gal Aid and Hu­man Rights Cen­tre (JLAC) and the Pales­tinian Com­mit­tee of Pris­on­ers’ Af­fairs. The re­mains of th­ese Pales­tini­ans, who were killed after their al­leged in­volve­ment in car­ry­ing out at­tacks against Is­raeli cit­i­zens, are with­held by Is­rael in what Issa 4araqe, head of the Com­mit­tee of Pris­on­ers’ Af­fairs, de­scribed as “venge­ful” and an “ugly vi­o­la­tion of all in­ter­na­tional and hu­man laws.” The pros­e­cu­tion’s dec­la­ra­tion was met with stunned anger and tears from the fam­i­lies, who were earlier op­ti­mistic that the judge would rule in favour of re­turn­ing the re­mains of their loved ones. “I don’t want to talk to the me­dia or to any of­fi­cials,” said Mo­hammed al-Tarayrah’s fa­ther to Al Jazeera. “You are all use­less and un­scrupu­lous, and only re­mem­ber to call us when­ever it suits you.” His son’s body has been with­held by Is­rael since June 30 2016, when he en­tered the Kiryat Arba set­tle­ment in He­bron and killed a set­tler. In a state­ment, Mo­hammed Mah­moud, a lawyer from the Pris­on­ers’ Af­fairs Author­ity, said that the Is­raeli Supreme Court post­poned Wed­nes­day’s ses­sion after the pros­e­cu­tor’s state­ment. Salwa Ham­mad, a spokes­woman and cam­paign co­or­di­na­tor for the na­tional cam­paign for the re­cov­ery of the bod­ies of Pales­tini­ans, told Al Jazeera that the pros­e­cu­tion’s state­ment will not af­fect the ap­peal de­mand­ing the re­lease of the Pales­tini­ans’ re­mains. “Today was sup­posed to be about the trans­fer of the bod­ies from the morgue to their fam­i­lies,” she said. “If Is­rael wanted to bury them they should have given their fam­i­lies the chance to say good­bye.” Ac­cord­ing to the Pales­tinian Pris­oner Af­fairs Author­ity, the de­ci­sion to bury the bod­ies with­out the ap­proval of Is­rael’s Supreme Court was a re­sult of heavy po­lit­i­cal pres­sure on the mil­i­tary author­i­ties. This sum­mer, the Is­raeli Supreme Court is­sued a rul­ing that stated the Is­raeli se­cu­rity forces had no author­ity to with­hold bod­ies. Pales­tini­ans be­lieve that Is­rael is with­hold­ing the bod­ies as a bar­gain­ing chip to use against Ha­mas to re­lease the re­mains of Is­raeli sol­diers they al­legedly are hold­ing since the of­fen­sive on the Gaza Strip in the sum­mer of 2014. The next court ses­sion will be closed to the pub­lic and will be held on Sun­day, Septem­ber 17. Since the start of the Oc­to­ber 2015 up­ris­ing that saw an up­take in in­di­vid­ual Pales­tinian knife and car ram­ming at­tacks against Is­raelis, nine Pales­tinian bod­ies are with­held by Is­rael.

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