Israel will transfer the bodies of 100 Palestinian terrorists to the Palestinian
Authority in a matter of days for reburial as a confidence-building measure to
move the sides back to negotiations, senior Israeli officials said
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s envoy, Yitzhak Molcho,
discussed the transfer of the bodies Saturday night when he delivered a letter
from Netanyahu to PA President Mahmoud Abbas. At that meeting Abbas also asked
Netanyahu to resolve the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike and to agree to a
prisoner- release exchange.
While Israel did not agree to the prisoner
release, it did agree to the transfer of 100 bodies of terrorists, some of whom were involved in suicide bombings. This is an
issue that was discussed in the past, but put on hold while Gilad Schalit
remained in Hamas captivity.
The two sides, with the help of Jordan and
Egypt, also reached an agreement on ending the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger
One official said that Israel would be watching how the PA
handled the reinterment of the bodies, and did not want to see the terrorists
treated as heroes.
The official said Israel went “the extra mile” and
showed flexibility on two of the three issues that Abbas raised, and hoped that
the PA leadership would appreciate the steps and would show
One way of showing reciprocity, the official hinted, would
be to ensure that the terrorists who will be reburied are done so without the
fanfare that accompanies the burial of national heroes.