Israelis Stealing Body Organs of Palestinians Killed in War: European Monitor
Story Code : 1099441
The reports sheds light on theft of some bodies on which signs of cutting and surgery is left. The report accuses the Israeli army of harvesting organs of Palestinian victims to be used for the injured Israelis or for sale in illegal global markets at high prices.
The Arabic-language news outlet refers to a report published during Israeli raid on the Shifa Hospital of Gaza, the key medical center in the besieged enclave. The report cites Shifa medical resources that report stealing of bodies of 180 Palestinians killed in Israeli bombardment campaign. A few days latter, only 111 bodies were returned to the hospital.
Official and rights groups have already warned against stealing of body organs of war victims by the Israeli forces. A government official in the Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the theft of the bodies of the victims in Gaza’s Shifa Hospital by the Israeli regime’s army.
He stated: “The occupiers have a black record of stealing the body organs of martyrs and transferring them to centers and hospitals inside the occupied territories and using them.”
What body organs are stolen?
The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor in its report pointed to body organ harvest by the Israeli forces, saying that despite the fact that the Israelis handed over to the Red Cross Committee bodies of Gazans killed during the war, they still keep tens of bodies. The committee raised the premise that organs were stolen from bodies and supported it by observations of the medical staff working in Gaza hospitals. Gaza doctors have confirmed that when they were handed over the bodies, they noticed theft of body organs like corneas, eyes and vital organs like cochleas, livers, kidneys, and heart. At the same time, doctors in Gaza stressed that it is almost impossible to carry out detailed examinations of the bodies of the victims who were in the hands of the Israeli army, but several signs of the possibility of organ removal have been discovered.
The Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor also confirmed that the Israeli regime has a long history in taking custody of bodies of Palestinian martyrs. The monitor notes that Israeli regime currently holds bodies of 145 Palestinians in addition to older 255 and additional 75 missing bodies, but refuses to admit it does.
Israel already prepared the ground for organ theft
It is interesting to know that the Israeli occupation has paved the way for body and organ stealing in recent years. In recent years, Tel Aviv has passed a law that makes it possible to confiscate the bodies of Palestinians and steal their organs. In 2019, Israel’s Supreme Court authorized military command to seize the bodies of Palestinians in battles and bury them in designated cemeteries for anonymous people.
In late 2021, Israel’s Knesset passed laws allowing the police and army to seize the remains of bodies of Palestinian martyrs and keep them if necessary. This is while the Geneva Convention (IV) stresses the need to take all possible measures to prevent theft of the bodies of the deceased people and their mutilation in the war.
Black record of Israeli body organ trafficking
It is also interesting to know that the Israeli regime holds the world’s largest ‘skin bank.’ The regime has a medical facility that stores human skin for later use in the treatment of burns and skin cancer. This skin bank was founded about 40 years ago under the supervision of the medical department of the army and provides its services at the international level, especially to Western countries.
A 2009 documentary also published the words of Yehuda Hess, the former director of the Israeli National Center for Forensic Medicine, in which he confirmed that the organs of war victims are sometimes stolen.
“We removed corneas, skin, heart valves and bones (from the bodies of Palestinian martyrs) from war victims... Everything that was done was very informal... and we didn’t ask permission from the families,” Hess said.
Mair Veis, an anthropologist, in his book titled About Their Bodies that contains a probe about the Israeli dealing with the bodies of deceased Palestinians in forensic centers states that when he was at one of these centers, he eyewitnessed removal of body organs of Palestinians. He adds that they remove the cornea, skin, and heart valves in such a way that the absence of these organs is not detected by non-specialists, because they replace the cornea with plastic replica and remove the skin from lower layer. They also use the bodies of those killed in medical schools in their universities for research purposes.
He adds that in the first Intifada, the military practically allowed coroners to dismember bodies of Palestinian victims under a military procedure that required autopsies on the bodies of Palestinian prisoners. The book adds that the autopsy process included removal of body organs and their keeping in organ banks. The tissues and skins are used to treat burn injures of Israeli soldiers.
In 2008, the CNN published findings of an investigation showing that Israeli regime is the world’s largest center of illegal human organ trade and is involved in stealing of body organs of deceased Palestinians for illegal purposes.