[News] Palestine - Israel restricts funeral attendance to 30 after 6-month delay in returning body

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Mon May 9 11:41:25 EDT 2016

*Israel restricts funeral attendance to 30 after 6-month delay in 
returning body*

May 9, 2016 http://www.maannews.com/Content.aspx?id=771444

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) – Israeli forces after midnight Monday returned the 
body of 37-year-old Muhammad Abed Nimr who was shot dead in November 
after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli border policeman in 
Jerusalem’s Old City.

Only 30 family members were allowed to partake in the funeral of Nimr, a 
native from the Issawiya neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, at 
al-Mujahidin cemetery in Jerusalem's Old City, said Muhammad Mahmoud, a 
lawyer for prisoners’ rights group Addameer who attended the funeral.

Mahmoud said a large number of Israeli forces were deployed around Salah 
al-Din Street and Bab al-Sahira (Herod’s gate) as Nimr’s body was 
delivered to the family.

The Israeli Supreme Court ordered Israeli intelligence last week to 
return all bodies of Palestinians still being held before the holy month 
of Ramadan that begins in June, Mahmoud told Ma’an, following an appeal 
submitted by Addameer in March to release the bodies.

“Only doctors and anatomy experts can determine whether there have been 
any organ thefts,” Mahmoud added.

Despite his deep grief, Nimr’s father said his family felt some relief 
after months of suffering and waiting. “I wish that all martyrs detained 
by Israel will be returned and buried in the coming few days,” he added.

Eleven bodies of Jerusalemite Palestinians are still held by the Israeli 
intelligence, five of whom have been detained since October 2015.

Israel began holding bodies of Palestinians killed while carrying out 
attacks or attempting to carry out attacks when unrest increased in 
October, but began reversing the policy in November following uproar 
from Palestinian families and communities.

Senior Palestine Liberation Organization official Saeb Erekat urged the 
international community on March 4 to pressure Israel to release the 
bodies of Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces while allegedly 
carrying out attacks.

He said: "Israel's collective punishments are now being carried out 
against the living and the dead."

A joint statement released by Addameer and Israeli minority rights group 
Adalah in March condemned Israel’s practice of withholding bodies as "a 
severe violation of international humanitarian law as well as 
international human rights law, including violations of the right to 
dignity, freedom of religion, and the right to practice culture."

The statement said it appeared "many" of the Palestinians whose bodies 
Israel was holding had been "extra-judicially executed by Israeli forces 
during alleged attacks against Israelis, despite posing no danger."

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