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'Israel mass grave must exclude Palestinians'

April 18, 2012 12:46 A.M. (Updated: April 18, 2012 9:22 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- A group of relatives of Palestinians killed by Israel demanded Tuesday that the Israeli government exclude their remains from a state plan to bury unidentified remains.

Israel's Haaretz daily reported that 8,000 jars of human remains are to be given a proper burial, under a national program unveiled Sunday by the National Institute of Forensic Medicine in Tel Aviv.

Palestinian relatives insisted that Israel follow through on its agreement with the Palestinian ministry of civil affairs in summer 2011 in which it agreed to release nearly 200 bodies of slain Palestinians.

In a statement, the group condemned Israel's "defiance of international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions of 1949, in which Israel is obligated to return victims of war to their families."

It was not immediately clear if the unidentified remains kept by Israel would include Palestinians.

The burial process will start on May 20, Haaretz reported.

Families who wish to have their loved ones' tissues and organs buried together with relatives, instead of in a mass grave, will be permitted to do so, according to the report.
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