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Israel ‘stealing organs’ from bodies in Gaza, alleges human rights group

By Joshua Askew

 

Concerns about ‘organ theft’ by Israel’s forces from dead Palestinians were raised by Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor.

Israel’s army has been accused of stealing organs from the dead in Gaza by an NGO, which called for an independent international investigation.

Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor said on Sunday it had “concerns” about possible organ theft from Palestinian corpses, following reports by medical professionals in Gaza who examined some bodies after they were released by Israel.

The NGO claimed it has documented Israeli forces confiscating dozens of dead bodies from the al-Shifa and Indonesian hospitals in northern Gaza, alongside others in the south.

Medical professionals reportedly found vital organs, such as livers, kidneys and hearts, alongside cochleas and corneas, were missing, which the Euro-Med Monitor called “evidence” of potential organ theft.

They also claimed Israel exhumed and confiscated corpses from a mass grave that was dug more than 10 days ago in a courtyard at al-Shifa.

The Israeli Defence Force has been approached for comment.

Israel has previously denied harvesting organs from dead Palestinians without the consent of families, calling such accusations “antisemitic”.

Organ theft cannot be proven or disproven by forensic medical examination alone since multiple bodies underwent surgery prior to death, doctors at several Gaza hospitals were cited as saying by Euro-Med.

A full examination of the recovered corpses is not possible given the intense Israeli attacks on Gaza, they claimed. This follows comments by Palestinian health officials in Gaza that they can no longer even count the dead because the enclave’s health system has collapsed.

Israel has long been accused of harvesting organs

Reports have circulated in recent years that Israel is unlawfully using Palestinian corpses.

In her book Over Their Dead Bodies, Israeli doctor Meira Weiss claimed organs were taken from dead Palestinians between 1996 and 2002 and used in medical research at Israeli universities and transplanted into Israeli patients’ bodies.

Jewish teachings permit organ transplantation and harvesting, with the need to save lives paramount over all other religious commandments…

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