Israel Admits to Organ Harvesting

After Israel responded with outrage to accusations made last August that the Israeli army had killed Palestinians to harvest their organs, a former forensic official has admitted that Israel did harvest organs throughout the 1990s. In a 2000 interview, the former head of Israel’s Abu Kabir forensic institute acknowledged that it was common practice for scientists to take corneas, skin, bones and heart valves from the bodies of Palestinian and Israeli soldiers without the family’s consent. The interview was conducted by a UC Berkeley anthropologist who decided to release the interview following the publication of a controversial article in Sweden suggesting that Israel was killing Palestinians expressly to harvest their organs. The anthropologist, Nancy Scheper-Hughes, said that Palestinians were “‘by a long shot’ not the only ones affected by the practice in the 1990s.”According to Al Jazeera, harvested body parts went to hospitals in order to be used for transplants, while skin was sent to a “special skin bank” for military use. The Israeli military has since released a statement declaring “This activity ended a decade ago and does not happen any longer.”     

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