More than a year after shooting and killing her and holding her body, the Israeli occupation authorities yesterday turned over the corpse of Naifa Kaabna, 50, a Palestinian mother of nine from Aqbat Jabr refugee camp in the eastern West Bank city of Jericho, to her family for proper burial, according to the Jerusalem Legal Aid and Human Rights Center (JLAC).
Israeli occupation forces shot and killed Kaabna in what Palestinians have charged was in cold blood at Qalandia military checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem alleging she attempted to stab a soldier.
JLAC attempted since the shooting to get Israel to return the body to her family for burial and to investigate the incident, as well as turn over video recordings at the checkpoint to the center without any avail, it said, and the body was kept in the morgue all this time.
The human right center petitioned the Israeli High Court in February to get the body of Kaabna back, but the court has delayed any action until in August it ordered the army to explain why it was still holding Kaabna’s body.
The army decided yesterday to turn the body over to her family and Kaabna was finally laid to rest at her refugee camp.
Israel decided on October 13, 2015 to withhold bodies of Palestinians its forces kill in the occupied territories and use them as a bargaining chip in future prisoners’ exchange talks with the Palestinian factions.
According to JLAC, Israel is holding bodies of 66 Palestinians its forces have shot and killed in the last years, most of them kept in the morgues, while some were buried in unknown locations. In addition, 254 Palestinians killed by Israel since 1967 are still buried in what is known as “numbered cemeteries” in Israel, while 74 are still unaccounted for.