'Israel to transfer 84 bodies to PA in good-will gesture'

Officials say return of bodies of Palestinian and Arab nationals killed since 1967 a gesture to PA President Abbas.

Mahmoud Abbas 311 (photo credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)
Mahmoud Abbas 311
(photo credit: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg)
Israel will transfer the bodies of 84 Palestinians and Arabs in the coming weeks as a gesture to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Israeli officials said on Monday.
The exact identity of the 84 bodies was not revealed but officials said that it included a significant number of terrorists.
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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 be exhumed from a military-controlled cemetery for enemy combatants located in the North and then identified.
News of the gesture was revealed on Monday by PA Civil Affairs Minister Hussein a-Sheikh in an interview to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency. The bodies are of Palestinians and Arab nationals killed since 1967.
Sheikh said that the PA would coordinate the final transfer of the bodies to cemeteries within Palestinian-controlled territories and other Arab countries as needed. He 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.