"فاشية وكراهية وتطرف"… إسرائيل تأسُر حتى جثامين الفدائيين
In a new inhumane measure against Palestinians, Israel's Defense Minister Naftali Bennett decreed on 27 November that the Zionist state will refuse to surrender the bodies of Palestinians who have died in the Occupation's prisons, or during military operations conducted against the Zionist state to their families.
This policy already applied to Hamas members, but Bennett decided to include all Palestinian factions, regardless of the nature of the operation that the deceased carried out or was planning.
It should be noted that the Occupation authorities currently holds approximately 250 bodies since 1967, the last of which is the body of the prisoner Sami Abu Diak, who died November 26.
A Template of Israeli Brutality
Abu Diak died at the age of 37, 17 years of which he spent in Israeli prisons, during which he experienced kidney and lung failure because of a medical malpractice in jail. Furthermore, Abu Diak suffered from cancer in the last three years of his life, and was deprived of the simplest of his rights: fulfilling his last wish of dying in the arms of his mother.
In his last messages, Abu Diak said: "To all of those with a living conscience, I am living my last hours and days, I want to be by the side of my mother and my loved ones. I want to die while I am in her arms. I do not want to die with my hands and legs tied, in front of a warden who loves death and feeds and delights in our pain and suffering”.
The Occupation authorities ignored Abu Diak's appeals – who had been sentenced to life imprisonment three times in addition to thirty years – as well as his mother's repeated pleas to allow her to accompany her son during his final days.
Jordan's embassy in Tel Aviv had since also called on the Occupation authorities to transfer the body of Abu Diak to his parents in Jordan for his burial.
Abu Diak was not alone in his treatment, for there are five other prisoners in critical condition in the same Ramla prison hospital in which Sami Abu Diak took his last breaths, namely Mansour Mawqeda, Khaled Shawish, Nahed al-Aqra'a, Saleh Saleh and Mutasim Radad.
Meanwhile, five prisoners have passed away in the Occupation's prisons this year, namely Fares Baroud, Omar Awni Yunis, Nasar Taqataqa, Bassam al-Sayah as well as Abu Diak.
The Palestinian Authority (PA), as well as organizations concerned with prisoner affairs, have often accused the occupation of "slowly killing/execution prisoners in a systematic manner by not providing necessary medical care."
According to the Palestinian Society Prisoner's Club, there are more than 700 sick prisoners in the Occupation's jails, including 200 suffering chronic diseases and ten with cancer.
With Abu Diak's death, the number of Palestinians who have passed away in the Occupation's jails because of "medical negligence" since 1967 has risen to 67.
Hatred and Extremism
The head of the Commission of Detainees Affairs, Qadri Abu Bakr, declared that the decision to retain the bodies of Palestinian prisoners by Israel "reeks of hatred and extremism: it is further evidence that Israel is a terrorist entity that delights in detaining bodies and taking vengeance from the families of the deceased." He added that "the world has to take a real and clear position confronting this usurping entity which proves day after day that it is a terrorist entity."
Meanwhile, the Secretary-General of the National Gathering of Palestine Martyrs' Families, Mohammed Sobaihat, condemned the recent Israeli decision which he said "reflected the fascism of the Occupation and its consecutive governments," while calling on "international humanitarian organizations to stand by its responsibilities regarding the violations of the Occupation government."
Sami died aged 37, having spent the last 17 years in #Israel's prisons, he suffered from kidney and lung failure because of medical malpractice and just died after a battle with cancer. Sami was denied his last wish: to die in his mother's arms.
Retaining #Palestinian prisoners' corpses "reeks of hatred and extremism: it is further evidence that #Israel is a terrorist entity that delights in detaining freedom fighters’ bodies and taking revenge on the families of the deceased.
5,000 Palestinian prisoners, including 40 women, 230 children and 500 imprisoned without explanation are currently suffering in Israel’s occupation dungeons.
Sobaihat suggested that official Palestinian organizations and civil bodies especially, and Arab ones in general, should "pursue the Occupation government legally, in the competent international courts" on the matter.
Sobaihat added: "The free world does not accept detaining the bodies of those who lost their life in the path of freeing their countries. This issue must be provoked internationally in order to free all the bodies of the martyrs detained in what are described as the 'graveyards of numbers' or in refrigerators."
For Israeli Soldiers’ Families Sake
On the other hand, Israel's Defense Minister did not conceal that his decision came as part of a wider "deterrent" measures, adding that some cases could be exempted in specific circumstances, such as the deceased being a minor.
According to Israeli media, the original proposal for the recent decision came from the family of Israeli officer Hadar Goldin, whose body is currently being detained by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The family had submitted its proposal to the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting last week.
Israel routinely retains and holds onto the bodies of those it accuses of carrying out (or attempting to) operations against it. However, Israeli courts used to force the Occupation authorities to return the Palestinian bodies when their families submitted appeals.
In a major downturn two months ago however, Israel's Supreme Court permitted the retention of Palestinian bodies to use them as negotiating tools during any future talks or prisoner exchanges.
However, the decision does not seem to appeal to all Israelis, with Israel's Channel Seven reporting a statement by the mother of Israeli soldier Shaul Aaron declaring that: "Bennett is wrong: retaining Palestinian bodies will not achieve anything" with regards to Israeli soldiers detained by Hamas.
It should be noted that almost 5,000 Palestinian prisoners, including 40 women, 230 children and 500 imprisoned without explanation are currently suffering in Israel’s occupation dungeons.