The Palestinian Authority’s UN representative claimed Israel is harvesting the organs of dead Palestinians, leading Israel’s envoy to accuse the PA of spreading a blood libel.

In a letter to the UN secretary general, ambassador Riyad Mansour protested Israel’s “persistent aggression against the Palestinian people” over the past month of unrest and what he called its “insistence on use of violent force and oppressive measures.”

He then claimed that bodies of Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces “were returned with missing corneas and other organs, further confirming past reports about organ harvesting by the occupying power.”

In response, Israeli envoy Danny Danon called the organ harvesting accusation a “blood libel” and said the claim had shown the Palestinian ambassador’s true “anti-Semitic face.”

Envoy Danny Danon at the UN Security Council, October 22, 2015 (UN/Kim Haughton)

Envoy Danny Danon at the UN Security Council, October 22, 2015 (UN/Kim Haughton)

It was not the first time claims have been made that Israel harvested Palestinian organs. The allegation appeared in the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet in 2009. It was also reported by Time magazine in 2014, though the publication later posted a retraction.

Israeli officials have vehemently denied the allegations, saying they were based on anti-Semitic tropes against Jews.