Graveyard of numbers

Israel/Palestine
on 44 Comments

(The following report by Nadya Raja Tannous tells of a policy of  Israel’s military occupation over Palestine, as related to her by a guide this week during the Today’s Realities and Tomorrow’s Leaders Delegation to Palestine/Israel, co-sponsored by Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB), in partnership with American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).

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Martyr Poster (photo:IFPB’s 47th Delegation 2013)

Walking around any primarily Palestinian city, the posters on the walls are hard to miss. As we walked through the old city of Nablus, all of their printed eyes stared down at us from serious faces. They are the faces of “martyrs”, the ones who have been killed by the Israeli military during night-raids, sniper attacks, and bouts of intensely visual and violent military or settler presence. Next to their pictures are their names, their dates of death, and a few words regarding their lives and premature passing.

At one corner, we stopped next to one with a young man sporting an outdated curly combover, a plaid dress shirt, and a date of death that read May 18th, 1976. It was puzzling to me to see a remembrance tract left for someone who had died almost 40 years before. The group stared intently into his face, at which point the guide asked us “who here has heard of the Graveyard of Numbers”?

The lives of Palestinian people under military occupation are filled with injustice and deceit but nothing exemplifies the complete control and ruthlessness of the Israeli Occupation as what happens to them after death if they qualify to enter the “Graveyard of Numbers”. If a Palestinian from the West Bank is considered to be guilty of a crime by the State of Israel upon their death, the Israeli military can collect that person’s remains and place the individual in a trial post-mortem. After the trial process, a sentence is assigned and the body is taken to a storage facility inside of Israel and held in detention until the sentence is fulfilled.

This man looking down at us was named Hafith Muhammad Wahid Abu Zanat and his corpse was condemned to 20 years in prison. During this time, his family’s rights to burial and/or viewing of his remains were revoked until the 20 year jail period was carried out to term. In 1996, Hafith was returned to his family in Nablus, marking the first time that they were actually able to see him and mourn over his remains since the day that he was shot and his body was initially removed by the military.

Our guide told us that he was present when the Abu Zanat family received their son. His old father stooped over the casket and opened the lid only to find, of course, his son’s bare bones, his recognition long gone with the process of time. Additionally, there was no assurance that these remains even belonged to Hafith.

This is not the kind of homecoming that I would wish on anyone. I see this policy as a way to intentionally prolong familial and community mourning in order to cultivate greater desperation, hopelessness and defeat in other aspects of Palestinian life. For, as long as the remains have not been returned to their family for burial and ceremony, it is essentially as though that person is still alive, still incarcerated, with no control of their life even in death.

Furthermore, the “jail” holding facility purposefully does not catalog the remains that they process by name. It instead estranges the individuals from their identity by assigning them numbers after the court process and immediately stripping them of their name both on paper and in references for the future return to their families, hence the colloquialism the “Graveyard of Numbers”. Thus, when the body is finally returned to the family, the name of the remains is not released along with them. This often necessitates a very expensive DNA test, paid out of pocket by the family members, in order to check if the bones match up with the identity of their loved ones.

This form of arbitrary bureaucracy is ultimately a method of dehumanization and disenfranchisement that aims to remove martyrs’ families from any sort of cohesive healing process.

Incarceration of Palestinian individuals, both living and dead, contributes to the daily obstruction of general civilian movement and control over their basic livelihoods. Such aims are all part of the same network of demoralizing policies that are implemented by the State of Israel to remind the Palestinian people, Zones A, B, and C, that they are not free and will not soon be free.

Even in death, escape requires permission.

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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44 Responses

  1. just
    August 23, 2013, 9:43 am

    This is truly beyond comprehension. This ghoulish practice is one that must have been born in hell. A true sacrilege and desecration of the human body and soul.

    Israel has lost all remnants of mercy and humanitarianism. History will judge them harshly. This is the work of demons.

    Judaism and Islam are very similar in their beliefs and practices of the proper treatment of human remains. The Israelis not only defy and denigrate Islam, but also Judaism. This is barbarism.

  2. bintbiba
    August 23, 2013, 11:46 am

    ……words fail me.!!!

  3. ivri
    August 23, 2013, 12:01 pm

    If you are going to believe all what “guides” there say about Israel, well… And, well, horrific facts about Islamists acts all around the world have a little bit stronger factual evidence than what “a guide” said… I wish, Annie, you wake up someday

    • just
      August 23, 2013, 8:59 pm

      ivri– why can’t you believe that people would believe a mere human ‘guide’? There are plenty of Israelis and others that dispute the ongoing Nakba. Why do you choose to believe the ‘horrific facts about Islamists acts all around the world’ while at the same time denying this atrocity??? Please explain your ‘facts’.

      It’s just more of the same old, same old. You just might be defending barbarians.

    • Cliff
      August 23, 2013, 10:52 pm

      ivri,

      It’s great that Zios like you are finally realizing you are just like the Islamist terrorists out there.

      Now leave the Palestinian people alone. Get off of their land and stop stealing their water.

  4. Woody Tanaka
    August 23, 2013, 12:07 pm

    This is a barbaric notion. Truly.

    • seafoid
      August 24, 2013, 12:47 am

      It’s an abusive system and a despotic process . The language is violence and the law is humiliation. Every sinew of Zionism says to the Palestinians “You are worthless scum”.

      I don’t believe the scribes of that great religion had this in mind when they wrote about the return to Jerusalem.

      • jon s
        August 24, 2013, 1:58 am

        Seafoid, you don’t really believe this story, do you?

      • Annie Robbins
        August 24, 2013, 2:50 pm

        john, did you read the AP story i placed down there?

        “We hope that this humanitarian gesture will serve both as a confidence-building measure and help get the peace process back on track,” Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said. “Israel is ready for the immediate resumption of peace talks without any preconditions whatsoever.”

        Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gave no sign that the gesture would persuade him to return to talks.

        what possible reason could israel have for keeping the remains of the deceased? to be used as a ” gesture … a confidence-building measure and help get the peace process back on track”?

        a bargaining chip? the bodies of their deceased?

      • seafoid
        August 24, 2013, 3:07 pm

        Israel does keep bodies, jon. Very difficult for the families. Pretty barbaric and certainly not OECD practice. But then OECD countries don’t run aparteid either. And Zionism is dismal.

  5. talknic
    August 23, 2013, 1:04 pm

    Can this policy be verified?

  6. jon s
    August 23, 2013, 1:40 pm

    ” If a Palestinian from the West Bank is considered to be guilty of a crime by the State of Israel upon their death, the Israeli military can collect that person’s remains and place the individual in a trial post-mortem. After the trial process, a sentence is assigned and the body is taken to a storage facility inside of Israel and held in detention until the sentence is fulfilled.”

    Seriously, Annie: do you believe that?

    • Woody Tanaka
      August 23, 2013, 2:48 pm

      “Seriously, Annie: do you believe that?”

      Why not? You people have done far worse.

      • yrn
        August 24, 2013, 4:52 am

        When Tanaka and Co. are left out of Information resources and evidence, It’s gets to the infantile style of The “Guide” Told Me.
        I bet you would believe anything the guide told you about your M****r.

    • Annie Robbins
      August 23, 2013, 2:48 pm

      http://news.yahoo.com/israel-hands-over-remains-palestinian-militants-085650637.html

      http://www.imemc.org/article/63630

      Minister of Civil Affairs in the Palestinian government in Ramallah, Hussein ash-Sheikh, reported that Israel handed the bodies of 91 Palestinians, buried over many years in the “Numbers Graveyard”; the remains were sent to the Gaza Strip and to Ramallah.

      ……..

      The official said that the remains will all be examined, including DNA analysis, in order to officially identify the them before handing them to their families.

      Israel buried the remains of fallen Palestinian, Lebanese and Arab fighters in a graveyards it calls “The Numbers Graveyard” referring to a large number of bodies buried nameless with a number attached to each grave.

      Dozens, if not hundreds of Palestinians, Egyptian soldiers and other Arab fighters, in addition to detainees who died in Israel prisons are buried in these graveyards.
      Each body buried in these graveyards is given a unique number that corresponds to a security file in Israeli military databases.

      Israel never disclosed exact locations of these graveyards, and never disclosed the how many “numbers graveyards” it has, while some of the disclosed graveyards are;

      Numbers Graveyard – close to Jacobs’ Daughters Bridge, Jordan River area; the graveyard contains that the remains of more than 500 Palestinians killed during the first Israeli-Lebanon war.

      Numbers Graveyard – In the Jordan valley between Jericho and Damia Bridge; Jordan River; it contains the bodies of more than 100 persons.

      Rafdeem Graveyard, in the Jordan Valley area.

      Numbers Graveyard, north of Tiberius, next to Wadi Al-Hamam village; it contains the remains of more than 50 persons.

      more photos here: http://occupiedpalestine.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/photos-finally-to-be-buried-home-shuhada-in-their-coffins-arriving-in-ramallah/

      google is your friend

      • Mayhem
        August 23, 2013, 8:36 pm

        So what’s the big deal here? Bodies are buried and due to lack of information are identified by numbers linked to a database. They are kept in graveyards in undisclosed areas to stop people from flocking to such sites where people would indubitably be incited to violence and protest.
        Meanwhile MW becomes more and more anachronistic and marginalised as truly significant events in the region pass it by.

      • Cliff
        August 23, 2013, 10:49 pm

        Not marginalized enough for a troll like you though, Mayhem!

      • Elliot
        August 23, 2013, 11:55 pm

        @ Cliff. LOL!
        This Israeli policy is consistent with other Occupation policies. Israelis routinely use collective punishment to intimidate the Palestinian population. Arresting young boys, blowing up relatives’ homes, humiliating parents in front of their children and breaking into families’ homes in the dead of night are all standard acts of thuggery for the Israeli forces.
        Withholding remains is just one more way to make a wider circle of innocents feel the pain.
        An old buddy of mine who was a combat soldier in the Israeli army (i.e. he did much of his service enforcing the Occupation) told me once that the official regs about treating Palestinians right were irrelevant to what actually went on. The sole value of the rules was that if he, my buddy, really wanted to do it by the book, then he would have the rules to support him. Even though doing so went against the culture of his unit and made him look strange to his comrades.
        I’m surprised that the Israel apologists on this thread say this cannot be. These practices are well documented practices in the media. Or they can just ask their neighbors and children in the military about this when they are home for Shabbat or their R’geela (furlough).

      • just
        August 24, 2013, 12:35 am

        But of course you “see” nothing at all wrong here, mayhem.
        It’s your MO.

        That’s your problem. You never, ever walk a mile in another man/woman/child’s shoes. Consider this– had this happened to Israeli ‘victims’ today, yesterday or tomorrow; how would you feel?

        Victimized, bereft, tortured???

        You write:” Bodies are buried and due to lack of information are identified by numbers linked to a database.”

        Give me a break. Israelis have databases for EVERYTHING and EVERYONE– a hallmark of a paranoid police state that excludes everybody but the ‘in’ crowd.

      • seafoid
        August 24, 2013, 12:44 am

        “Meanwhile MW becomes more and more anachronistic and marginalised as truly significant events in the region pass it by.”

        You wish.

        Why do you come here?
        And why..
        Why do you hang around?

      • just
        August 24, 2013, 12:51 am

        btw, how much time energy and resources does Israel expend on identifying victims & survivors of the terrible Holocaust?

        Why shrug off the same human concerns of the indigenous Palestinians who continue to suffer the ongoing Nakba?

      • Mayhem
        August 24, 2013, 1:31 am

        @Elliot, the topic here is about the interred remains of Palestinians who are the casualities of the conflict.
        If you’re going to talk about withholding remains then take a little look at the other side for a change – refer http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/05/12/1084289693708.html.
        Maybe the Israelis should start using the remains of dead Palestinians as bargaining chips as the anti-Zionists so opportunistically do – http://mobile.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSL141960220080716.
        Remember the Zygier affair where this guy Mr Al Homsi, a one-time mayor of the Lebanese village of Saadnayel, claimed he was recruited by Mossad in 2007. He advised the media how the Lebanese government wanted to use the remains of Israeli soldiers to bargain with Israel over the release of Palestinian prisoners. These guys will do anything – they have no scruples.

      • just
        August 24, 2013, 7:54 am

        “Meanwhile MW becomes more and more anachronistic and marginalised as truly significant events in the region pass it by.”

        You don’t find this ‘truly significant’? What if it was the remains of your brother, your father, your loved one, your patriarch? Would you consider it important at all? Or do you dismiss this grotesque practice as insignificant because the remains are those of Palestinians?

        How come so many Israelis want the living body of the treasonous Pollard returned to Israel where he will undoubtedly be hailed as a hero? Why does Israel seem only to value the lives/deaths of Jewish people?

      • Woody Tanaka
        August 24, 2013, 9:06 am

        Mayhem, The fact that you can see nothing wrong with this barbaric practice demonstrates your lack of humanity.

      • talknic
        August 24, 2013, 4:45 pm

        Mayhem ” Bodies are buried and due to lack of information are identified by numbers linked to a database.”

        Source…. thx

      • seafoid
        August 24, 2013, 5:11 pm

        It’s very hard to justify Israeli cruelty in English but the words work perfectly together in Hebrew with that worldview

      • just
        August 24, 2013, 5:28 pm

        Mayhem– and you think that Israel has “scruples”? For that matter, do you?

        “You guys” already do anything and everything to further humiliate, occupy, punish, kill, thieve from, and incarcerate the indigenous Palestinians and yet “you” still sleep like innocents at night. Marauders trying to disguise themselves as the ‘good guys’.

      • talknic
        August 24, 2013, 6:25 pm

        @Mayhem ” Bodies are buried and due to lack of information are identified by numbers linked to a database.”

        Uh huh. “the Israeli military can … place the individual in a trial post-mortem” according to you, not knowing who they are!

        Apologists for Israel’s ghastly policies will say anything, absolutely anything, no matter how stupid, illogical or false. They appear to have no sense of pride, lowering themselves at times to spouting blatant nonsense and lies, which as we all know, are against the most basic tenets of Judaism.

        That they purposefully break a basic tenet of Judaism trying to justify the Jewish state’s atrocities really is quite bizarre. That the Jewish state itself purposefully propagates lies is even more bizarre.

        Perhaps the most bizarre of all though, is the fact that the Jewish state purposefully encourages its Jewish citizens to break GC IV, a convention adopted in part, as many conventions and laws have been, because of the treatment of our Jewish fellows under the Nazis. A convention designed to protect ALL civilians including those of the Occupying Power from the possible violent consequences of the belligerent occupation over another people.

        It begs the question .. What sort of a country would do that and what type of person can possibly support it?

      • Mayhem
        August 25, 2013, 12:31 am

        @talknic, I think I need to clear up the misconceptions about article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention as you have imposed it yet again upon us.
        Read http://www.icjs-online.org/index.php?article=5077 where the author there points out that since the territories of Judea and Samaria are not and were never illegally occupied by Israel per International Law and Treaty the Convention is, quite simply, inapplicable to any discussion of Palestinian entitlement. Read the rest of the article I have referenced for a full edification.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 25, 2013, 11:26 pm

        mayhem, do you mean hypothetically ‘due to lack of information are identified by numbers linked to a database’? or did you read that somewhere? i didn’t see it in any of the text.

        They are kept in graveyards in undisclosed areas to stop people from flocking to such sites where people would indubitably be incited to violence and protest.

        hmm, soooo…why not ship ALL the remains back to palestine then? why wait for clinton and this moment to return them after all these years?

        Dozens, if not hundreds of Palestinians, Egyptian soldiers and other Arab fighters, in addition to detainees who died in Israel prisons are buried in these graveyards.
        Each body buried in these graveyards is given a unique number that corresponds to a security file in Israeli military databases.

        so what do you think is in the security files? why keep the bodies? or don’t you think israel knows the names of palestinians in their prisons?

        Israel has never disclosed the exact locations of these graveyards, and never disclosed how many “numbers graveyards” it has. Some of the disclosed graveyards are:

        – Numbers Graveyard – close to Jacobs’ Daughters Bridge, Jordan River area; the graveyard contains the remains of more than 500 Palestinians killed during the first Israeli-Lebanon war.

        – Numbers Graveyard – In the Jordan valley between Jericho and Damia Bridge, Jordan River; it contains the bodies of more than 100 persons.

        – Rafdeem Graveyard – in the Jordan Valley area.

        – Numbers Graveyard – north of Tiberius, next to Wadi Al-Hamam village; it contains the remains of more than 50 persons.

        http://www.imemc.org/article/63630

      • Annie Robbins
        August 25, 2013, 11:54 pm

        Read the rest of the article I have referenced for a full edification.

        mayhem, your site is just another camera-like hasbara site but australian. it has no authority regardless of your pretense.

      • jon s
        August 24, 2013, 3:39 am

        Annie, so where are the post – mortem trials, sentences and detentions? Are you now retracting? There’s no shame in admitting that you were wrong, had been misled.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 24, 2013, 3:14 pm

        jon, there’s no shame in admitting that you are wrong about israel, have been misled.

        in the land of apartheid israel’s military rule over palestinians is nothing that we would recognize as a ‘justice’ but it is their military judgement (ie: trial), even if it is just the signing of a document:

        AP:

        All 91 returned were killed carrying out attacks on Israeli targets, Palestinian officials said. At least one of the attacks dated back to the 1970s.

        also, i am not sure if you read the italics above, but i am not the author. here is what she wrote, according to the guide:

        If a Palestinian from the West Bank is considered to be guilty of a crime by the State of Israel upon their death, the Israeli military can collect that person’s remains and place the individual in a trial post-mortem. After the trial process, a sentence is assigned and the body is taken to a storage facility inside of Israel and held in detention until the sentence is fulfilled.

        so if you do not think there was any form of ‘trial process’ to determine if palestinians interred were guilty, why was israel still holding them and not other remains that were returned? or are you hung up on the “a trial post-mortem” lingo. is that what you find objectionable about the report?

        AP’s remark ” bodies buried nameless with a number attached to each grave.” doesn’t mean israel doesn’t know their names. it means they do not bury them with their names.

        if you have any evidence what so ever israel does not know the names of the dead and is not labeling them by number, present it. if you have any evidence, contrary to AP’s assertion no military judgement was in place determining these palestinians were not returned for any other reasons for their crime, present it.

        otherwise, i have no reason, given the photographs, the msm reports, and the witness reports, to disbelieve anything in Tannous report.

        i will not be responding to anymore claims, assumptions or accusations of yours that i am retracting, in shame, misled or in any way distancing myself.

        i suggest you take your complaints to phil and adam.

    • jon s
      August 24, 2013, 12:29 pm

      Maybe this is where they got the idea from:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadaver_Synod

  7. iResistDe4iAm
    August 24, 2013, 10:47 am

    Although China, India, USA and Indonesia (to name a few) are brutal occupiers, at least they let their dead victims Rest in Peace.

    Israel, the most immoral occupier in the world.

  8. Djinn
    August 25, 2013, 11:07 am

    Sending dead people to prison?!?!?!?

    I’m often sent into ragey and lengthy condemnation of Israeli actions. I am very rarely speechless, but what can be said that adequately covers just how needlessly cruel and patently sick this is?

    • just
      August 25, 2013, 11:40 am

      Just more proof that the Zionists want the Palestinian people erased by any means necessary, including mental torture and anguish.

      It’s truly symptomatic of a sickness of the collective soul.

    • seafoid
      August 25, 2013, 2:02 pm

      Needlessly cruel and patently sick

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/.premium-1.530991

      “Arabs targeted in hate crimes left to cover costs, unrecognized by Israel as terror victims ”

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/israeli-ministries-propose-toll-on-palestinian-goods-to-plug-budget-deficit.premium-1.524287
      “During the marathon budget talks this week, the Defense Ministry and the Finance Ministry made a creative suggestion for covering Israel’s deficit: a new toll for Palestinian merchandise at Israeli border crossings.”

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/an-israeli-industrial-park-is-a-wild-west-bank-for-labor-rights.premium-1.523269

      “An Israeli industrial park is a wild West Bank for labor rights
      Israeli labor regulations apply in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone, but inspectors don’t cross the Green Line to enter Area C, so there is no one to enforce them.”

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/06/us-palestinians-israel-children-idUSBRE9250D520130306

      “The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) estimated that 700 Palestinian children aged 12-17, most of them boys, are arrested, interrogated and detained by the Israeli military, police and security agents every year in the West Bank.”

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4348896,00.html

      “Israeli Arab admitted to hospital with head wounds says group of drunken Jews assaulted him on seaside promenade. Victim: Jews are like brothers to me”

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/israel-admits-ethiopian-women-were-given-birth-control-shots.premium-1.496519

      “Israel admits Ethiopian women were given birth control shots
      Health Minister director general instructs all gynecologists in Israel’s four health maintenance organizations not to inject women with long-acting contraceptive Depo-Provera if they do not understand ramifications of treatment.”

      And yet, in Erez Israel they say even the stones are holy.

    • jon s
      August 26, 2013, 12:47 am

      Djinn, No, dead people are not sent to prison in Israel, the story is false.
      I hope your capacity to speak has returned.

      • Djinn
        August 26, 2013, 8:56 am

        You know the term prison here does not mean you have cells full of corpses right?

        You know that Israel does hold the remains of dead Palestinians right?

        Why do they do that Jon if not to cause more pain and grief?

        I hope your capacity for comprehension returns at some point, if indeed it ever existed.

      • Eurosabra
        August 26, 2013, 4:47 pm

        The answer is that because of the extreme level of hostility of the conflict, modalities for return of the dead and the wounded were always the subject of fragile negotiations, and it was not uncommon for bodies to be temporarily buried for years:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convoy_of_35.
        The temporary interment of Jewish fighters in the Old City of Jerusalem from 1948-67–unmarked graves of known individuals, on Jordanian-occupied soil, matches this paradigm.

        Oddly, Israel has a very good track record with its “Numbers Cemetaries” as only one known name (Anis Dola) has gone without a body and matching place of interment, and only one body (5056) has gone unidentified and unclaimed in Ramallah following the man’s return: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/07/201373184119455266.html.

        This is even more remarkable if one considers that 6 Israelis are missing in action, their living or dead bodies most likely in Arab captivity, their fates and whereabouts unknown, and circa 400 Israeli combatants (including “the Twenty-Three” and the crew of the INS Dakar) are known or convincingly-believed-to-be-dead and buried in an unknown place or lost at sea.

        The United States Govt itself does not deal well with the issues arising from the graves registration of soldiers whose deaths resulted from the penalty of the law, as any Google search for “Plot E the dishonored dead” reveals.

      • Annie Robbins
        August 26, 2013, 6:43 pm

        omg eurosabra, that link is just horrendous

        The appeal was turned down in March 2013. In its decision, the Israeli court said that it has been too long since Doleh’s death, and given that the search results of various Israeli authorities didn’t yield anything, there would be no use in issuing a decision in favour of the family’s demand to release Anis’ remains.

        “They’re lying,” declared Hasan Doleh, Anis’ brother. “He can’t just evaporate.” The family is not excluding any options. “Did they steal his organs?” Hasan asked. “Did they use his body for medical training?”

        Although there is no indication to what might have happened to Anis’ remains, Doleh’s fears were rendered legitimate a couple of years ago, when Israeli pathologists admitted they harvested organs from dead bodies without permission of their families.

        When asked for a justification of the mistakes made, the Israeli army said transferring bodies to the Palestinian Authority was a gesture of goodwill.

        “The bodies in question were transferred to the PA bearing the same names as they were given upon their burial,” the Israeli army said in a statement to Al Jazeera. “The PA agreed to accept the bodies without conducting a preliminary DNA test.”

        Because of this, the Jerusalem Center filed another petition earlier this year to the Israeli Supreme Court, this time demanding the establishment of a DNA database.

        The Israeli authorities are expected to take samples from the bodies they are withholding, ensure the remains in each casket belong to one person and match the results with their records, Aruri explained. But he is not hopeful. “All we need to fold this page is some effort and good will,” he said. “The Israelis are showing neither.”

        Earlier, the Israeli authorities had offered to hand over about 80 Palestinian corpses. The families were reluctant to receive them, and the Jerusalem Center advised the PA against accepting them – because they were to be handed over unidentified.

        “We don’t want to get them in a pile,” Aruri said. “We don’t want to exhume bodies from Israeli-numbered graves to bury them in Palestinian-numbered graves.”

        if someone dies in an israeli prison with the sentence is unfinished do they not return the body? because it sounds here is tho there’s evidence, from the director of the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center and the answer given by the Israeli Supreme Court, they do not.

      • Eurosabra
        August 26, 2013, 7:19 pm

        Anis Dola died as a result of his hunger strike in 1980, and his body was delivered by the Israeli Prison Service to the National Forensic Institute at Abu Kabir, thereafter he went missing. So the body was in no way “retained”, in fact the problem is that it was not. Since he has living relatives, the usual DNA tests of any remains returned in the future might identify him, the Court’s decision reflects the fact that an extraordinary effort specifically on his case has infinitesimal chances of success, forensically speaking.

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