Organ harvesting but no blood libel...
The admission, by the former head of the country's forensic institute, followed a furious row prompted by a Swedish newspaper reporting that
The revelation, in a television documentary, is likely to generate anger in the Arab and Muslim world and reinforce sinister stereotypes of
Ahmed Tibi, an Israeli Arab MP, said the report incriminated the Israeli army.
The story emerged in an interview with Dr Yehuda Hiss, former head of the Abu Kabir forensic institute near Tel Aviv. The interview was conducted in 2000 by an American academic who released it because of the row between
Channel 2 TV reported that in the 1990s, specialists at Abu Kabir harvested skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers, often without permission from relatives.
The Israeli military confirmed to the programme that the practice took place, but added: "This activity ended a decade ago and does not happen any longer."
Hiss said: "We started to harvest corneas ... whatever was done was highly informal. No permission was asked from the family."
However, there was no evidence that
She was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that while Palestinians were "by a long shot" not the only ones affected, she felt the interview must be made public, because "the symbolism, you know, of taking skin of the population considered to be the enemy, [is] something, just in terms of its symbolic weight, that has to be reconsidered."
Hiss was removed from his post in 2004, when some details about organ harvesting were first reported, but he still works at the forensic institute.