The remains of 36 terrorists to be transferred to the PA following court order.
Israeli official says the move was purely procedural & denies the move is any ‘gesture’.
Israel late Sunday began the gradual handover of the remains of 36 Palestinians buried on its turf to the Palestinian Authority in a move reportedly aimed at boosting the ongoing peace talks between the two sides.
The deceased were militants laid to rest in “numbered graves” at a specially designated cemetery for enemy fatalities.
The transfer became possible after Israel’s High Court of Justice acquiesced to release the bodies following an appeal by Israeli human right groups and the Palestinian families of the late militants.
The Palestinian news agency Ma’an quoted Salim Khillah, a spokesman for a committee to retrieve Palestinian remains from Israeli custody, as saying the move represents a confidence-building gesture from Israel to Ramallah; however unnamed Israeli official denied this report, telling the Ma’ariv newspaper the move was purely procedural.
The body of Majdi Henfer was transferred to the West Bank. Henfer lost his life in 2002 in firefight with a Border Guard force near Haifa. An Israeli soldier was killed in the fire exchange.
Palestinian sources cited by the Ynet website claimed two further bodies of Palestinians will be handed over Tuesday, Fathi Amira from Nablus, killed in 2002, and Atta Samachna, killed in 2004.
Reports emerged Saturday that US Secretary of State John Kerry is set to unveil a proposed framework agreement later this month.
According to the al-Hayat newspaper, the document will be presented by Kerry in the Jordanian city of Aqaba, and is expected to include a preliminary outline rather than concrete understandings. Deputy Israeli Defense Minister Danny Danon told Israel Radio on Saturday that Kerry will likely present the document at a joint meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Abdullah of Jordan.
Netanyahu made a brief, surprise visit to Jordan this week to meet with the king.
Palestinian sources told the London-based paper Kerry’s memorandum will include an endorsement of Palestinian aspirations to make Jerusalem the capital of their future state; yet the document stipulates the sovereignty of Jerusalem and control of its borders will fall under Israel’s authority.
View original i24 News publication at: http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/israel/diplomacy-defense/140120-israel-begins-transfer-of-bodies-to-pa