Practice Relating to Rule 116. Accounting for the Dead
Section A. Identification of the dead prior to disposal
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) states:
It is incumbent on each party to keep a record of a fallen soldier’s personal details and particulars of death, and hand over to the other side half of the dog-tag worn by the fallen soldier, as well as a death certificate.
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
Each side has the duty to record details of the fallen and details of the death, and to send to the other side half the identity tag worn by the fallen, his personal possessions and the death certificate.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
According to the Report on the Practice of Israel, in the Abu-Rijwa case
in 2000, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out DNA identification tests when asked by family members to repatriate remains.
In its ruling in the Barake case
in 2002, dealing with the question of when, how and by whom the mortal remains of Palestinians who died in a battle in Jenin refugee camp should be identified and buried, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated that “once the identification process is over, the burial shall begin” and that “identifying … the bodies is a highly important humanitarian need”.