Barak 58 reuters.
(photo credit: Reuters)
Minister Ehud Barak suspended Monday all talks with the Palestinian
Authority over the transfer of the bodies of 84 Palestinians.
said that he was concerned that the some of the Palestinians on the
list could undermine efforts to free kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit. According to Israeli media, two of the names on the list were of Hamas members.
Terrorists freed in prisoner swaps may be classed parolees
Earlier Monday, Israeli officials said that Israel would transfer the bodies of 84 Palestinians and other Arabs in the coming
weeks as a gesture to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
The identities of the 84 corpses were not
revealed and officials said they were to be taken from a cemetery near Allenby
Bridge where some 150 bodies of Palestinians killed since the Six Day War are
Some reports claimed that the among those slated to be
transferred to the PA were the bodies of suicide bombers including that of Ramaz
Aslim, who blew himself up in Café Hillel in Jerusalem’s German Colony on
September 9, 2003, killing seven people and wounding more than 50, and that of
Hanadi Jaradat, the 29-year-old woman who blew herself up in the Maxim
restaurant in Haifa on October 4, 2003, killing 21 people and wounding
Details of the gesture were finalized last week and approved by Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The process is expected to take some time since the
bodies will need to exhumed from the cemetery and then identified.
of the move was revealed on Monday by PA Civil Affairs Minister Hussein a-Sheikh
in an interview with the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency.
Sheikh said that
the PA would coordinate the final transfer of the corpses to cemeteries within
Palestinian- controlled territories and in Arab countries as needed.
said that Israel was in possession of 102 bodies of Palestinians and Arabs and
that the current transfer was the first stage in a larger deal.
decision to transfer the bodies to the PA is not believed to be connected to
negotiations for the release of Gilad Schalit but is rather an Israeli gesture
to Abbas ahead of Ramadan, which is to run from August 1 to 29.