Euro-Med Monitor says Israel may be stealing organs from dead Palestinians

Euro-Med Monitor says Israel may be stealing organs from dead Palestinians
The Euro-Med Monitor says that Israel has held hundreds of bodies of Palestinians killed in its war on Gaza and is harvesting them for organs.
2 min read
28 November, 2023
Gaza's health ministry said it had to bury hundreds of dead Palestinians in mass graves [Getty]

The Euro-Med Monitor human rights group has accused Israel of stealing dead bodies from Gaza's medical facilities for potential illegal organ harvesting.

A report released by the human rights group said that the Israeli army has taken bodies from the Al-Shifa Medical Complex and the Indonesian Hospital in the northern Gaza Strip, as well as other locations in the south of the beleaguered Palestinian territory. 

Gaza's medical experts have found evidence that suggests organs were missing from several bodies that were returned to their families, including corneas and other organs.

A full examination of the released bodies was still not possible amid Israel's ferocious airstrikes and the influx of patients, they added. 

“Israel is thought to be the biggest hub for the illegal global trade in human organs,” the Euro-Med report stated, referring to a CNN investigation that also showed Israel engaging in organ theft from the bodies of dead Palestinians.

The Geneva-based organisation also accused Israel of keeping the bodies in freezing temperatures (below 40 degrees Celsius), possibly to hide organ theft.

Israel has a history of keeping Palestinian bodies. Euro-Med said that at least 145 were being held in morgues, about 255 in a secret 'Numbers Cemetery' facility near the Jordanian border, while 75 others are still missing and not identified.

Some of these bodies are said to be kept in hidden mass graves - known as "enemy combatant graves" - in military areas, marked only with metal plates.

The health ministry in Gaza said it had to bury scores of bodies of unidentified Palestinians in mass graves multiple times throughout Israel's indiscriminate war on Gaza, which has killed more than 15,000 Palestinians to date, most of them women and children.

In an attempt to allow their relatives to identify the bodies later, the head of the government’s press office, Salama Maarouf, said: "We have documented all the bodies and photographed all of distinguishing marks of them before burying them in the mass grave."