Israel releases body of slain Palestinian for burial after withholding it 54 days


JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli authorities returned the body of a slain Palestinian on Wednesday night, allowing his family to bury 28-year-old Nasim Omran Abu Meizar in occupied East Jerusalem almost two months after he was killed by Israeli forces.Abu Meizar was shot dead at the Qalandiya checkpoint between the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem on Sept. 30 after stabbing and wounding an Israeli soldier.His body was withheld by Israeli authorities for 54 days before being released on the condition that he be buried immediately and that only 15 family members be allowed to attend the funeral.Abu Meizar was buried in the al-Mujahidin cemetery near East Jerusalem’s Old City at midnight, as Israeli forces heavily deployed in and around the cemetery, blocking nearby roads and preventing journalists from approaching the funeral or talking to Abu Meizar’s relatives.A lawyer from the Palestinian Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs, Muhammad Mahmoud, said that Abu Meizar’s body was returned to his family in good condition, unlike a number of cases when slain Palestinians whose bodies had been withheld by Israel for months were returned frozen.Mahmoud added that he would soon file an appeal demanding the release of the body of slain Palestinian Misbah Abu Sbeih, who was killed on Oct. 9 while carrying out a shooting attack.Israeli authorities dramatically escalated a policy of withholding Palestinian bodies killed by Israeli forces following the emergence of a wave of unrest across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel in October 2015, having repeatedly claimed that funerals of Palestinians had provided grounds for “incitement” against the Israeli state.However, following an uproar of protest among Palestinians over the policy, Israeli authorities began scaling down the practice, although a number of bodies still remain withheld.When Israeli authorities have decided to return slain bodies and allow funerals in the occupied Palestinian territory, the ceremonies have been typically restricted by a long list of conditions imposed by Israeli authorities, including limiting the number of attendees and the deployment of Israeli soldiers throughout the event.Palestinian families have also been forced to pay large financial deposits to the Israeli government as a collateral for potential “incitement” during the funerals and to ensure that families abide by Israeli-imposed conditions.Israeli police announced in June that slain Palestinians from occupied East Jerusalem suspected of “terrorism” would no longer be able to have funerals in their neighborhoods or villages, but would instead be buried in cemeteries chosen by the Israeli police.A joint statement released by Addameer and Israeli minority rights group Adalah in March condemned Israel’s practice of withholding bodies as “a severe violation of international humanitarian law as well as international human rights law, including violations of the right to dignity, freedom of religion, and the right to practice culture.”The statement said it appeared “many” of the Palestinians whose bodies Israel was holding had been “extrajudicially executed by Israeli forces during alleged attacks against Israelis, despite posing no danger.”According to Ma’an documentation, 240 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since October 2015, while 34 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians during the same time period.

(Source / 24.11.2016)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s