“The (Israeli) occupation authorities are augmenting the pain of the families bereaved at the loss of their children by withholding the corpses of their children and using them in the laboratories of medical schools in Israeli universities in flagrant violation of human rights, values, principles and scientific ethics,” Shtayyeh said at weekly cabinet meeting in the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday.
The Palestinian premier further called on world’s universities to boycott the Israeli colleges involved in withholding Palestinians’ bodies killed by Israeli gunfire in order to put pressure on Tel Aviv to show respect for the dead Palestinians and to immediately release the dozens of withheld corpses so that their families can bid them farewell in a manner that befits them and respect their feelings.
Shtayyeh added that Israel’s violence against Palestinians will not stop, stating that the number of people killed by Israeli forces has reached 78 across the occupied territories since the beginning of 2022, including 15 children.
The last victim was Kamel Abdallah Alwaneh, a 19-year-old Palestinian youth, who died of his serious injuries on Sunday, a day after he was targeted by Israeli gunfire during skirmishes that erupted in the town of Jaba’a, near the city of Jenin in the north of the occupied West Bank.
In recent months, heavy clashes have been going on between the Israeli forces and Palestinians on a weekly basis over Tel Aviv’s settlement expansion policies across the occupied Palestinian territories.
About 700,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law as they are built on occupied land. The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in several resolutions.
Shtayyeh further said Palestinians categorically rejects the settlement work carried out by Israeli authorities in the occupied city of al-Quds.
He went on to say that Israeli authorities seek to extend their control over Palestinian-owned lands in the holy city, particularly those near the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, stressing that his cabinet will not accept these acts.
Elsewhere, Shtayyeh said that the occupying regime continues to undermine the foundations of the Palestinian state by seizing more Palestinian lands and controlling the West Bank.
The Palestinian prime minister said Israeli authorities confiscated over 25,000 dunums of Palestinian-owned land and uprooted 17,755 trees across the West Bank last year, adding that they have demolished and threatened to destroy 179 wells with a capacity of about 34,000 cubic meters of water.
Israel has already occupied thousands of dunums of Palestinian agricultural lands to construct and expand new settler units in various areas in the West Bank.
In recent year, Israel has accelerated settlement expansion on an unprecedented scale.
Israel also continues to steal water by curbing Palestinian access to it, while increasing the control of extremist settlers over water resources across the occupied territories.