RAMALLAH, Dec. 20 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian officials on Sunday accused Israel of harvesting organs from Palestinians killed by the Israeli army years ago.
Fathi Abu Mughli, the health minister, said that Israeli doctors "have taken parts from dead bodies, including corneas, bones and skin without having permission from the Palestinian families."
In a statement sent to the media, Abu Mughli called on the Israeli government to respond to reports on organ harvesting, describing the act as "disgraceful work." He also called for an immediate investigation.
Meanwhile, Eissa Qaraqe, minister of prisoners affairs, said Israel keeps bodies of Palestinian people in secret cemeteries and refuses to hand them over to their families "to hide the fact of stealing their body parts."
"There is an Israeli Mafia trading with the body parts and some of the Palestinian families received bodies of their sons with some organs taken away," Qaraqe added.
On Saturday, the Israel's Channel 2 television reported about the issue and interviewed the former director of the Israeli Forensic Medicine Institute who confirmed that skin and corneas were taken from dead Palestinian bodies in the 90s.
In September, a diplomatic crisis took place between Israel and Sweden after a Swedish newspaper reported on organ harvesting by Israeli soldiers.
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