Palestinians refuse to receive militants` bodies from Israel

The Palestinians Wednesday rejected Israel`s offer to handover unidentified bodies of some militants, which was intended as a goodwill gesture amid the ongoing peace talks between the two sides, an official said.

Ramallah: The Palestinians Wednesday rejected Israel`s offer to handover unidentified bodies of some militants, which was intended as a goodwill gesture amid the ongoing peace talks between the two sides, an official said.

"Israel wants to close the Palestinian corpses` file because it has inflicted on the country a legal and a moral crisis in front of the whole world," said Salem Khela, coordinator in charge of retrieving bodies of Palestinian militants killed by Israel, Xinhua reported.

He added that Israel made the offer few days ago.

"The Palestinian National Authority doesn`t want to move an anonymous cemetery from Israel to Palestine", Khela said, stressing that Israel needs to identify each one of the dead militants and "this includes the name, the address and the date of death of the person".

Israel made the announcement of the intended handover earlier Wednesday, a day after it released 26 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture for the resumption of the peace talks in late July.

Israeli media reported that the Jewish country wanted to honour an old agreement with the Palestinians by handing over the militants` bodies.

Many Palestinian militants were killed in fighting Israeli forces over the past two decades, and Israel buried their corpses at an anonymous cemetery in northern part of the country.

In May 2012, Israel handed over 91 militants` bodies to the Palestinians to encourage them to go back to the negotiations, which halted in October 2010 due to an expansion of Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank.

IANS

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