The Israeli Knesset passed a law on Wednesday allowing police to withhold the bodies of Palestinians killed while resisting injustice. While this is not surprising it confirms systematic policies of the Israeli regime which completely disregards the rights of Palestinians — both living and dead.
Bodies of Palestinians are often withheld by Israeli authorities to punish the families of alleged Palestinian attackers. But until now, the practice has been illegal under Israeli law. The Knesset was forced to pass it after the Israeli High Court ruled in December that Israel could no longer use Palestinians’ bodies as bargaining chips without legislation explicitly permitting the practice.
Bodies that they bury themselves are often treated with gross negligence and disrespect. The graves are usually no deeper than 50 centimetres. Strong winds often uncover the corpse leaving it vulnerable to being eaten by wild animals.
Since the 1960s, Palestinians say Israel has withheld at least 500 bodies of martyrs. Despite the legalisation of such a crime, what is more troubling are recent trends in Israel to legalise its subjugation and occupation of the Palestinian people.
In January, the Knesset passed a law requiring two-thirds majority vote in parliament to cede any lands to the Palestinians considered to be part of Occupied Jerusalem. In February, the Knesset criminalised any criticism of the Israeli military making it harder for Israelis to consider their country as a democracy.