Israel: Release Body of Slain Palestinian
September 14, 2020 | Human Rights Watch
(Jerusalem) – Israeli authorities have held the body of a Palestinian man, Ahmed Erekat, for more than ten weeks after officers killed him seemingly without justification at a checkpoint, in violation of international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch said today. Video footage shows Erekat’s car crashing into a checkpoint in the West Bank on June 23, 2020, knocking over an Israeli officer, and then Israeli forces shooting him after he emerged from his car in circumstances in which he no longer appeared to pose an imminent threat to life.
Israeli authorities have held Erekat’s body ever since and said in a September 7 court filing that they would not return it to his family. The filing follows their reported decision on September 2 to continue withholding the bodies of dozens of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in what they consider security incidents, many unaffiliated with any political or armed group, in large part as leverage to secure the release of two Israeli civilians and the bodies of two Israeli soldiers evidently held by Hamas authorities, unlawfully, in Gaza. (...)