Israeli forces release body of Palestinian plumber killed while fixing water outage

Israeli forces release body of Palestinian plumber killed while fixing water outage
The body of Shadi Omar Shurafa, 41, was released on Tuesday morning after it had been held for two weeks.
2 min read
10 August, 2021
Israeli forces killed Shadi Omar Shurafa as he fixed a water outage [Getty]

Israel has released the body of a slain Palestinian plumber to his family, two weeks after he was shot dead by Israeli forces as he was fixing a water outage in his village.

The remains of Shadi Omar Shurafa, 41, from Beita village, south of Nablus, was handed to Palestinian Red Crescent (PRC) on Tuesday morning, near the military checkpoint of Huwwara, south of Nablus.

Ahmad Jibril, head of the PRC in Nablus, told Palestinian Authority's news agency Wafa Shurafa's body was taken to the Rafidia government hospital before turning it over to his family for burial.

Shurafa was shot dead by Israeli forces near the entrance of the village of Beita, south of Nablus late July as he attempted to divert water to his village from a water network. The army has withheld his body since then.

"He was killed in cold blood," Beita deputy mayor Mussa Hamayel said at the time.

He said there had been no protests in the area on the night of his death.

The Israeli army issued a statement alleging that while on routine patrol south of Nablus, soldiers "spotted a Palestinian suspect in the area". 

'Inhumane psychological warfare'

Israel routinely withholds the bodies of Palestinians its forces shoot dead. The practice has been regularly denounced by Palestinians as inhumane, saying it is a form of psychological warfare and collective punishment.

Israel is thought to keep the bodies of Palestinians as bargaining chips.

In September 2019, a Palestinian group that campaigns on the behalf of the families of Palestinians who have been killed and held by Israel wrote to the United Nations Secretary-General, urging him to pressure Israel to release the bodies.

The National Campaign for Retrieval of the Bodies of Palestinian and Arab War Victims sent a letter to Antonio Guterres, calling on him to take urgent action to release Palestinian corpses.

"Since 1967, Israel has applied an inconsistent policy of refusing to deliver the mortal remains of hundreds of Palestinian combatants to their families," the letter said.

"Israel's ongoing refusal to undertake the necessary process to identify those buried in the cemeteries of numbers violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 2474, which requires member states to prevent individuals from going missing as a result of armed conflict in territories under their jurisdiction," the group added.

Rights groups have also accused Israeli forces of using "unnecessary and excessive force" and carrying out extrajudicial killings against Palestinians.