Israel criticizes Palestinian UN ambassador’s organ harvesting claim

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations blasted his Palestinian counterpart Wednesday for accusing Israel of harvesting the organs of dead Palestinians, calling the remarks “hateful lies.”

In a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, dated Tuesday, Palestinian ambassador Riyad Mansour decried what he called “Israel’s persistent aggression against the Palestinian people.

“After returning the seized bodies of the Palestinians killed by the occupying forces through October, and following medical examinations, it has been reported that the bodies were returned with missing corneas and other organs, further confirming past reports about organ harvesting by the occupying Power from the Palestinian victims of its brutality,” Mansour wrote.

Israel denied the allegations and called on Ban Ki-moon to condemn the “ongoing incitement by Palestinian leaders.

“This blood libel by the Palestinian representative exposes his antisemitic motives and his true colors,” Ambassador Danny Danon wrote in a statement.

Allegations that Israel harvested Palestinian organs first appeared in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet in 2009, and in Time magazine in 2014, which later issued a retraction, according to The Times of Israel.

Tensions between Israelis and Palestinians flared in September over a dispute about which side has control of a sensitive Jerusalem holy site.

In seven weeks, 11 Israelis have been killed, mostly in stabbing attacks, while 70 Palestinians have died by Israeli gunfire.

Fox News’ Jonathan Wachtel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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