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PCHR and HAMOKED secure release of two bodies held by Israel for two years.

 

PRESS RELEASEPCHR and HAMOKED Secure Release

of Two Bodies Held by Israel for Two Years

Published on 6 January 1997 at 14.00 GMT

Today, 6 January 1997, an IDF Spokesperson announced that the Israeli Government had agreed to release the bodies of Hassan Abbas and Salah Jadallah after holding the bodies for over two years.

Hassan Mahmoud Issa Abbas, born 1975 and resident of Gaza City, had participated in a military operation in western Jerusalem on 9 October 1994 and was killed by Israeli military forces. Salah Jadallah Hassan Salim, born 1972 and resident of Sheikh Radwan in Gaza City, participated in the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier, Nahshon Waxmann. Under orders from Yitzhak Rabin, Israeli soldiers attacked the place Waxmann was being held in Beir Neballah, between Ramallah and Jerusalem on 14 October 1994. During the IDF attack the hostage and the kidnappers were killed, including Salah Jadallah.

Since the time of both deaths, the Israeli authorities have refused to release the bodies. The Israeli Government linked the release of the bodies with the discovery of Elon Sadon, an Israeli soldier kidnapped and killed by Hamas.

Hamoked and PCHR petitioned the High Court of Israel in order to secure the release of the two bodies. However, on 12 February 1995, the High Court, in an unprecedented decision, upheld the view of the Israeli Government that the release of the bodies could be linked to the discovery and release of the body of Elon Sadon. The decision was received with outrage by the families and disbelief by the human rights community.

In late July 1996, the body of Elon Sadon was discovered. PCHR wrote to the Israeli authorities seeking release of the bodies. This was followed, on 27 August 1996, by a letter from PCHR and Hamoked to General Urin Shahor, the Israeli Government Coordinator in the Occupied Territories. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights will coordinate with Palestinian National Authority to arrange the safe transfer of the bodies from the Israeli military authorities to the families.

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