Jerusalem, Dec 21: Israel has admitted that it harvested organs from the dead bodies of Palestinians and Israelis in the 1990s, without permission from their families.
The issue emerged with the release of an interview with Jehuda Hiss, the former head of Israel's forensic institute, in which he said that workers at the institute had harvested organs of Palestinians and foreign workers.
The interview was conducted in 2000 by an American academic, who released it because of a huge controversy over an allegation by a Swedish newspaper that Israel was killing Palestinians in order to harvest their organs.
Parts of the interview were broadcast on Israel's Channel 2 TV over the weekend.
In the interview, Hiss said, "We started to harvest corneas ... Whatever was done was highly informal. No permission was asked from the family."
Forensic specialists at Abu Kabir harvested skin, corneas, heart valves and bones from the bodies of Israeli soldiers, Israeli citizens, Palestinians and foreign workers, Channel 2 report said.
In a response to the TV report, the Israeli military confirmed that the practice took place.