PA minister claims Israel harvests Palestinian organs

Comments come as Defense Ministry recommending to the gov't a prisoner release to ease tension in West Bank before September.

Palestinian prisoners in Israel's Ketziot prison 311 (R) (photo credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
Palestinian prisoners in Israel's Ketziot prison 311 (R)
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)
The Palestinian Authority Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Qaraqi’ was quoted Sunday as saying Israel is the “major harvesting and trading center” of body organs in the world. His comments come even as the Defense Ministry is recommending to the government the release of a few hundred Palestinian prisoners to PA President Mahmoud Abbas in September to try and create a better atmosphere in the West Bank.
The prisoner release is part of a number of steps being discussed, including the return of the bodies of terrorists buried in Israel, whose goal is to improve the overall attitude on the Palestinian streets in advance of September.

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The prisoners to be released would be Fatah members, none of whom is on the list being discussed for a possible deal with Hamas for the release of Gilad Schalit.
By contrast, the Saudi-based Arab reported Sunday that Qaraqi’, “during the national day of Palestinian campaign to retrieve martyrs’ bodies,” accused Israel of harvesting parts from “the bodies of dead Palestinian martyrs without the consent of their families.” According to the website, Qaraqi’ said Israel was holding on to the remains of “Palestinian martyrs to conceal the crimes it committed against the martyrs’ bodies and to punish their families.”
Claiming that Israel was “holding the remains of 338 Arab and Palestinian fighters” in secret cemeteries, he said the “holding of the martyrs’ remains for many years casts doubts and accusations that Israel assassinated them after detention, or harvested their organs.”
The PA minister’s comments were swiftly denounced by Israel, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor saying that by “promoting heinous lies and blood libels, the Palestinians may score a few cheap points among the ignorant and the racists, but they will not be gaining any dignity and respect.
Dealing in hate mongering will not lead anyone to respect them,” Palmor said, adding that “they that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind.”