Published: 2018-04-01 16:12
Last Updated: 2018-04-01 16:22
Israel said on Sunday that it is withholding the bodies of two Palestinian civilians who were killed in Gaza on Friday.
Major General Yoav Mordechai of the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) said in a statement: "Israel will not rest and the residents of Gaza will not know peace until the Israelis are returned from the Gaza Strip and our soldiers are brought for burial.”
He added that Israel is currently holding the bodies of 24 Palestinian “terrorists,” who were killed since the Gaza War began in 2014.
The two Palestinians were killed with more than a dozen more of unarmed civilians, who took part in the “Great Return March” near the Strip’s border fence on Friday. The protest was organized to commemorate Land Day.
The Director of the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC), Issam Arouri, has recently said that Israel is keeping the bodies of 19 Palestinians who were killed since October 2015, in addition to holding the remains of 260 Palestinians killed since 1967 in the “cemeteries of numbers.”
Israel is the only country in the world that withholds the bodies of slain people as bargaining chips, or sets conditions on their funerals prior to releasing them to their families.