Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association released the following statement on 3 January.
Families of Jerusalem Martyrs Refuse Any Conditions on Returning their Son’s Bodies
Addameer’s lawyer, adv. Mohammad Mahmoud, reported that the families of four martyrs from Jerusalem refused imposing any conditions on returning the bodies of their sons by Israeli occupation forces. Mr. Mohammad Alayyan, speaking on behalf of the families stated that they refuse imposing any conditions on returning the bodies of their sons especially requesting the payment of guarantee money so as to receive the bodies, knowing that families of West Bank martyrs similarly rejected imposing all conditions. Israeli occupation has been holding the bodies of dozens of Palestinians shot by Israeli occupation in the past three months.
Officers from the Israeli occupation’s intelligence agency met today with the families of the martyrs Ishaq Badran (16 years old), Mohammad Said Mohammad Ali (19 years old), Ahmad Hamada Qneibi (22 years old) in the presence of Adv. Mohammad Mahmoud. The family of martyr Khalid Manasra (16 years old) were also informed about the meeting. The occupation’s intelligence agency agreed to hand the families their son’s bodies under the conditions of burials on the West Bank side of the apartheid wall naming Kufr Aqab and Anata as places where the families can bury their sons, immediate burial after receiving the bodies and paying a 5,000 shekel (1,300 USD) guarantee money that the families will abide by these conditions.
Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association stresses the families’ right to receive the bodies of their sons without any conditions and considers the occupation’s policy of holding the bodies of martyrs to be an inhumane measure of collective punishment that targets Palestinian families. Holding the bodies and preventing their burials for such a long period is an insult to the religious norms of the Palestinian society. Holding the bodies and imposing a burial place far from the family’s residence after returning is an extreme measure meant to make the families suffer and constitutes a form of psychological torture that corresponds to Israel’s discriminatory laws and practices and policies of ethnic cleansing and collective punishment against Palestinians.
Addameer further believes that holding the bodies of the martyrs and rejecting to open investigations into the circumstances of their death aims to impede justice and prevent revealing the true circumstances of the killings. In the past three months, Israeli occupation forces and settlers have been practicing a form of extrajudicial executions against Palestinians whereby lethal force is being used against Palestinians without justification and under the protection and complicity of the Israeli occupation’s political and judicial authorities.