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British ministers urged to pressure Israel to release body of Palestinian killed six months ago

A BRITISH legal charity is calling on the government to demand that Israel release the body of a Palestinian man who was “illegally” shot by soldiers more than six months ago. 

Ahmed Erekat was killed at a West Bank checkpoint on June 23 after his car crashed while en route to pick up his mother and sister for her wedding. 

Since then his body has been held by the Israeli authorities. 

Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights has written to ministers asking them to urge Israel to release Mr Erekat’s body following pleas from his family for international intervention. 

In the letter sent to Foreign Office Minister James Cleverly, the group said: “We consider that the continued withholding of Ahmed’s body over six months on is both unconscionably cruel and constitutes unlawful collective punishment, thereby compounding the insufferable pain of Ahmed’s family and denying him a dignified burial.”

Israel claims that Mr Erekat crashed his car to attack soldiers but his family argue it was an accident.

His death sparked outrage after video footage showed him leaving the car and backing away when he was shot. 

Human rights groups have said the killing was “unjustified” and a breach of international law. 

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