Israeli forensic institute illegally harvested organs in the '90s

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

In an interview conducted in the year 2000, Dr Yehuda Hiss, former head of the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute near Tel Aviv, admitted that in the 90's pathologists at the institute harvested the organs of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians, and foreign workers.

In 125 cases, Dr. Hiss and his subordinates removed organs, bones, and tissue without the permission of, and often against the wishes of, the families of the deceased.

Abu Kabir included a “museum of skulls” set up by Dr. Hiss that included the skulls of IDF soldiers that had been shot in the head. He has additionally been investigated for selling organs and falsifying testimony.

Hiss was fired from his position as Director of the institute shortly after the courts became involved, but has since remained the Chief Pathologist at the Institute.

In the interview, Hiss claims that, "body parts were used by hospitals for transplant purposes — cornea transplants. They were sent to public hospitals." Facts from the interview were later confirmed by an Israeli military statement on the issue which claimed, "This activity ended a decade ago and does not happen any longer."

What is still not confirmed, however, is whether or not the Swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet, was correct when it claimed that Israeli soldiers were stealing organs from both dead and living Palestinians, and whether or not Israelis were intentionally killing Palestinians for their organs. In the controversial article published in Aftonbladet, it was alleged that Israeli soldiers stole the organs of Palestinians after killing them. Israeli officials have vigorously denied the charge that Palestinians are being killed for their organs and have called the article in Aftonbladet "anti-semitic".


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