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The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights demands the immediate release of the bodies of ‘Abbas and Jadallah.

 

For Immediate Release

August 1, 1996

SPECIAL COMMUNIQUE

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights

Demands the Immediate Release of the Bodies of ‘Abbas and Jadallah

Due to the recent discovery of the body of Israeli soldier Ilan Sa’adon with the assistance of the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights demands the release of the bodies of Hassan ‘Abbas and Salah Jadallah, according to international humanitarian standards and Israeli government decisions linking the return of the bodies.

Hassan Mahmoud ‘Abbas, a resident of Gaza City born in 1975, was killed by an Israeli military unit while participating in a military operation in Western Jerusalem on October 9, 1994.

Salah Jadallah Salim (known as Salah Jadallah), a resident of Gaza City born in 1972, was killed by Israeli soldiers after kidnapping an Israeli soldier, Nachshon Vaxman. Vaxman was kidnapped October 9, 1994. On October 14, Israeli soldiers attacked the house in which Vaxman was being held by his kidnappers in Bir Nabala, near Ramallah. During the course of the operation, Vaxman and two of his kidnappers, including Salah Jadallah, were killed.

Israeli authorities refused to release the bodies of ‘Abbas and Jadallah to their families, and in an unusual step linked the release of the two bodies to the discovery of the location of the body of Ilan Sa’adon, an Israeli soldier kidnapped and killed by Hamas activists.

This decision was appealed to the Israeli High Court of Justice, and the release of the two bodies was demanded for humanitarian and religious reasons. In a decision which proved particularly shocking to human rights activists and organisations, the Court issued a decision on February 12, 1995, confirming the decision to link the two issues. The state’s decision to refuse to release the two bodies, which disregarded all humanitarian standards and the legitimate desire of the families to bury the deceased, was regarded as highly unusual.

Through the assistance of the Palestinian Authority, the body of Ilan Sa’adon has recently been discovered. The Palestinian Centre demands the immediate release by the Israeli government of the bodies of ‘Abbas and Jadallah, as both international humanitarian standards and the Israeli High Court decision now necessitate this action.

The Palestinian Centre, with reference to the Israeli High Court decision, calls upon the international community to exert pressure on the Israeli government to respect basic ethical and humanitarian standards, as well as the decision of its judiciary, and to guarantee the immediate release of the two bodies so that they may be returned to their families in the Gaza Strip to be buried.

The Palestinian Centre recognises that the return of the Ilan Sa’adon’s body has enabled his family to close a chapter of suffering in their lives; the Palestinian families are similarly in need of the relief that the return of the bodies of the deceased will bring.

It is important to note that Israeli authorities continue to hold the bodies of many Palestinians killed in the course of military operations inside Israel, including the bodies of Anwar Mohammed Sukar and Salah Abdel Hamid Shaker, who carried out the “Beit Lid operation,” on January 22, 1995. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights demands that the bodies of all those held by Israeli soldiers against international humanitarian standards be released and returned to their families, and calls upon the international community to demand that the Israeli authorities take this action.

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