Hamas to take Israel to court over alleged organ theft

Hamas has started gathering evidence that Israel harvested body parts from dead Palestinians to support its future legal claims against Tel Aviv in international courts.

The organ theft issue made headlines last summer, when the Swedish Aftonbladet newspaper published an article reporting that Israel had been stealing the organs of those Palestinians who were killed in fights with Israeli soldiers.

“We have started collecting documents and information which could prove that the Israeli occupants have stolen body parts of martyrs,” Hamas’ Minister of Justice Muhammad Faraj Al-Ghoul told reporters in Gaza on Wednesday.

“We plan to prepare a complete legal file to be used in lawsuits against the Israeli government in international courts,” Al-Ghoul said, adding that Hamas officials had urged Palestinians in Gaza to provide them with any evidence of Israeli organ harvesting.

Hamas is in control of the Gaza Strip after kicking Abbas’s Fatah party out of the enclave in the summer of 2007 following a series of armed clashes. Fatah now governs the West Bank.

Settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, both occupied by Israel since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, has been the main obstacle to reviving peace talks between Israel the Palestinians, which were halted over a year ago.

Despite broad international efforts to bring Palestinians and Israelis back to the negotiating table, Hamas refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist and opposes Abbas’s efforts to negotiate a permanent peace deal.

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