Sun 24 Sep 2023 9:39 am - Jerusalem Time

Detaining bodies is a bleeding wound

The issue of detaining the bodies of the martyrs represents a bleeding wound to the feelings and national and human dignity, especially to the families of the martyrs, for whom the loss of their dearest loved ones was not enough, but their lives turned into a kind of continuous suffering, and a long nightmare filled with feelings of oppression, pain, and the fires of heartbreak and anxiety that does not stop day or night, summer or summer. Winter, as long as the bodies of their loved ones are kept in the cold of the occupation’s refrigerators, and have become material for blackmail and bargaining.

All heavenly and earthly laws acknowledge the dignity of the human being, whether alive or dead. What is noteworthy is that Jewish law is the most concerned with the proper burial of the dead. You see specialized teams, such as the Zakka organization, which is a voluntary organization whose mission is to uncover victims of disasters, and after every traffic accident or The process of collecting the remains of the dead and their body parts in special bags to bury them in accordance with Jewish burial rituals. We also saw the Israeli occupation state making exceptional efforts and spending tens of millions of dollars to recover the remains of the spy Eli Cohen, or searching for those killed in Operation Sultan Yacoub, and sometimes it pays millions to bring the remains of a rabbi who died in Yemen or Morocco hundreds of years ago.

This interest in the dignity of the dead on the part of the State of Israel is limited to the Jewish dead, while the bodies of the Palestinian martyrs are subject to all kinds of forced disappearance and random burial in the cemeteries of numbers. Sometimes the burial is near the streams of torrents and the valleys that sweep away those graves, including them, in addition to the long-term detention of the bodies in refrigerators, all with the aim of blackmailing the Palestinians, whether through the release of the bodies as part of security or political deals, or to deter the Palestinian public, and create the conviction that... He thinks of resistance or carries out any operation that will cause permanent suffering to his family. The occupation does not content itself with field executions of those who carried out the operations, but rather punishes the families by demolishing homes, withdrawing permits or identity cards, and threatening deportation. Then, it resorts to the most psychologically harmful measure, which is detaining the bodies.

What confirms the importance of the issue is that President Mahmoud Abbas referred to it during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly meeting, asking a denouncing question about the reason and usefulness of the bodies of the martyrs. Two days before the speech, the “Masarat” Center hosted a dialogue symposium on a research paper prepared by the two young researchers, Ghazal Al-Natour and Moatasem Zaidan, and they discussed it in the presence of representatives of the martyrs’ families and the Al-Quds Center for Legal Aid, which made distinguished legal, political and public efforts during the past years to release the bodies of the detained martyrs and the bodies of the graves of figures. The Center's efforts succeeded in releasing some bodies after they had been detained for more than 30 years. Its efforts were met with actual and artificial Israeli obstacles and attempts to mislead and evade responsibility for preserving the bodies of martyrs, especially those who had been detained for decades. The aforementioned research paper talks about the detention of the bodies of more than 140 martyrs during the past seven years, in addition to the preservation of the bodies of more than 256 martyrs in the number cemeteries. Here it must be noted that these numbers are moving on a daily basis, and often in an upward direction, as the occupying state continues its policy of brutal repression, assassinations, and invasions within the policy known as attempts to resolve the conflict by military force.

One of the things that shocked the participants in the symposium was what Mrs. Azhar, the mother of the martyr Abdul Hamid Abu Srour, who was martyred in 2016, and she is the daughter of the martyr Abdul Hamid Abu Srour (Abu al-Ghadab), who was martyred in 1981, said that the occupation authorities deliberately buried her son in a number cemetery called ( Amiad) near Safed. The martyr and his family were residents of Bethlehem, and he was martyred in Jerusalem. What motivates him to be buried in Safed other than the desire to oppress his family and torture them for a lifetime, knowing that this information was only available after painstaking legal reviews, diligent efforts, and the intervention of the “Adalah” Center for the Rights of the Palestinian Arab Minority in... Inside in order to know the fate of the martyr.

The paper reveals a set of political and psychological backgrounds for the policy of detaining bodies or “collecting bodies,” including bargaining and blackmail, being a tool for controlling and controlling the Palestinian body and consciousness, a type of collective punishment, concealing the circumstances of the execution of martyrs after their capture, medical neglect of prisoners, and the possibility of using the bodies of prisoners as cases. Study, as stated in a statement by Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh. This is in addition to the spread of reports about stealing the organs of Palestinian martyrs or conducting experiments on them, as stated in the testimonies of Israeli doctor Meira Weiss, and in a report by CNN. that. The American.

The families of the martyrs whose bodies are kept in refrigerators or cemeteries have dozens of painful and sad stories, and specialized human rights institutions have a lot to say in this regard. What is important is that the official and popular Palestinian effort on this issue does not remain scattered and fragmented, and that the work to free the bodies not be limited to their families. The issue concerns every Palestinian, male and female, wherever they are. Rather, it concerns every individual in whose veins human dignity pulsates.

What is required is to transform this issue into a top national priority, and for it to occupy the position it deserves at the forefront of the concerns of the PLO, the Authority, and all civil and official institutions, and a major issue for all Palestinian forces, civil society organizations, and Palestine advocacy committees throughout the world. Work must be done to build a broad national coalition to continue putting pressure on the occupation government and its supporters in order to resolve this issue and not link it to any conditions or political settlements. It is necessary to arm our communities with all the information and data on this sensitive issue through which Israel’s crimes can be exposed and support and advocacy for the legitimate struggle of our people can be attracted, and that interest in this issue should not remain limited to families and specialized human rights institutions.


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Detaining bodies is a bleeding wound


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