‘I witnessed a whole system of deception regarding the death of a Palestinian’

A testimony from an anthropologist who conducted research in the Israeli Forensic Institute.

Professor Meira Weiss, an anthropologist at Hebrew University, was interviewed on Channel 10 as part of a story on Professor Yehuda Hiss, who served as the head of the Israeli Forensic Institute between 1988 and 2004. Weiss observed the work at the institute for six years (1996-2002) for research purposes. Her findings were recently published in a book titled Over Their Dead Body (here is a review in Hebrew).

Channel 10’s investigative reporters, Orly Vilnai and Guy Meroz, probed Weiss on the reports provided by the institute to the military and security services. Here is a transcript of the part of the interview, which deals with reports that were “necessary” (in Weiss’ words) for the authorities:

Vilnai: … for example, torture by the Internal Security Service [Shin Beit] is something that needed hiding, and his [Professor Hiss] reports could help.

Weiss: For example […] I witnessed a whole system of deception regarding one Palestinian. The IDF version was that he wanted to shoot them [the soldiers] and he was shot on his front side of his body. The Palestinians claimed that he was killed later on. In other words, there are two versions, meaning one needs to decide.

Meroz: Like the ‘Bus 300 affair.’

Weiss: Exactly like that. Despite the fact that everyone saw… meaning that it was clear from the autopsy that it was an entry wound from behind, it wasn’t emphasized and was silenced.

Vilnai: Someone asked them to silence it?

Weiss: I don’t think so. This is obvious. It is obvious that we the Israelis don’t want it to be known that he [the Palestinian] received a bullet to the head because it means that it took place later.”

Here is the full report on the Forensic Institute. The part quoted is at 20:05.

(h/t John Brown)