At the Shura military camp in central Israel, the number of dead has risen quicker than rabbis can identify. Shelves of cold trucks hold hundreds of body bags containing women, children, and soldiers who have been sent for autopsies.
According to Rabbi Israel Weiss, who leads the operation, Jewish law prohibits breaking the Sabbath for a deceased person. Except when one’s family is unsure, and the loss may endanger the family’s life. You have to identify the remains and inform the family on the Sabbath.
At this point, all that can be done for the families of the 1,300 persons slain by Hamas terrorists is to certify their deaths officially.
The procedure might take months, workers warned. Not all mutilated human remains can be recognized. The military lacks a civilian DNA database, making testing harder for everyone. Rabbis say hardly half the people had been identified.
A report shows families in Israel have raced to hospitals to offer DNA samples in hopes of matching them to the remains at one of many locations receiving the deceased.
Weiss claims that since 2005, when rabbis extracted graves in an Israeli settlement cemetery after people fled as a consequence of Israel’s pullout from Gaza, rabbis haven’t worked on the Sabbath. After their 2006 elections, Hamas took over the Palestinians and Gaza the following year. The terrorist organization is still in control of Gaza over two decades later.
Identification teams have reported a faster pace of success in identifying troops. At the start of their military careers, soldiers provide DNA samples that will be used for identification purposes. The military claims that 265 of the troops who died in the conflict have been positively identified. The bodies keep piling up, however.
In an effort to expedite the identification of victims, the Israeli army is currently compiling databases of photographs, fingerprints, DNA, biometric information, and teeth. To expedite the process, they have asked that people who are missing immediate relatives donate DNA samples.