The Israeli High Court approves Petition by Addameer on the Return of Withheld Bodies of 9 Jerusalemite Palestinians

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05 May 2016

Ramallah- 5/5/2016- The Israeli High Court recommends the gradual return of the nine bodies of extrajudicially executed Palestinians from Jerusalem, that have been withheld from their families. The decision recommends that the Israeli police put forth its fullest efforts to return the nine bodies before the holy month of Ramadan. The court also recommended that the authorities inform the families 48 hours prior to their return, to enable burial and funeral preparations.

Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association’s lawyer, Adv. Mohammad Mahmoud, submitted a petition to the Israeli Supreme Court on behalf of the families of the extrajudicially executed Palestinians for the return of their bodies. The first hearing to review the petition was held on 18/04/2016. It was subsequently delayed until the end of the Jewish holidays and was held today 05/05/2016. 

Occupation authorities continue to withhold 19 bodies of Palestinians that were extrajudicial executed in the most recent escalation. Addameer considers the continued withholding of the bodies by occupation authorities for over seven months a severe violation of international humanitarian law as well as international human rights law, namely in violation of human dignity, freedom of religion, and the right to practice culture. The withholding of the bodies also adds to the severe grief, anxiety and trauma of the families who are dealing with the loss of a loved one, who are then being denied their cultural and religious rights to practice mourning and burial in accordance with their faith. The practice of withholding bodies also obstructs the possibility of conducting an investigation concerning the circumstances of the alleged extrajudicial executions and a proper autopsy.