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Latest update : 2010-10-21

Israel’s secret cemeteries

For 60 years the Israeli Army have confiscated the bodies of Palestinian and Arab fighters. The corpses are kept in secret cemeteries and given identification numbers. The Palestinians call these cemeteries “Makaber el Arkam” the cemeteries of numbers.

NGOs have listed over 300 captive corpses, but no one knows exactly how many bodies are kept by the Israeli Army. Hundreds of Palestinian families have been struck twice, once for having lost a child, and a second time for having never had a chance to bury it’s body.

On the 12th of august, for the first time, a Palestinian family managed to have one of the bodies returned after filing a request before the Israeli Supreme Court. His name was Mashhour Arouri, a Palestinian fighter killed during a guerrilla operation in 1976. His relatives waited 34 years to buried him.

Our reporters James André and Lyana Saleh set off to investigate the “cemeteries of numbers” across the holy land. They spoke to families on both sides to understand why and how the Israeli army conducts this policy.

By Lyana Saleh , James ANDRE

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