JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel admitted to harvesting organs from dead bodies in the 1990s.
The admission came after the release of a 2000 interview with Dr. Yehuda Hiss, who was the head of Israel’s L. Greenberg Forensic Institute in Abu Kabir, The Associated Press reported.
Hiss told an American academic in the interview, parts of which were broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 over the weekend, that the institute used corneas from bodies, including Israeli soldiers, Palestinians and foreign workers. Channel 2’s report said that corneas, heart valves, skin and bones were used from the corpses without families’ permission.
The scholar released the interview following a report in a Swedish newspaper that Israel was harvesting the organs of Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers, an accusation that Israeli officials have denied, AP reported.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed to Channel 2 that the organs were used, but stressed that the practice stopped a decade ago.