Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs Hussein al-Sheikh said Monday that the Palestinian Authority had agreed with Israel that 84 bodies of Palestinians who were involved in terrorist activity against the Jewish state since 1967 will be handed over to the PA.
The list is said to include the bodies of particularly infamous terrorists responsible for some of the worst attacks in Israel's history.
- Receive Ynetnews updates directly to your desktop
The names include Hanadi Jaradat, the Palestinian woman who blew herself up in Haifa's Maxim restaurant in 2003, killing 21 people. Another name on the list is Ramez Sali Abu Salim, the terrorist who murdered seven people by blowing himself up at Jerusalem's Café Hillel. Yet another notable name is Ihab Abu Salim, who killed eight people in a central Israel suicide bombing.
The bodies are buried in military cemeteries for terrorists inside Israel. Israeli security officials confirmed that talks on the matter have been held but said that no agreement had been reached yet.
Al-Sheikh told Palestinian media that the agreement was reached after extensive negotiations between Israel and the PA. He added that PA teams will check the bodies before notifying their families of their transfer and that DNA checks will be performed.
The Palestinian minister noted that the PA will hold a formal ceremony marking the transfer to be attended by President Mahmoud Abbas and PA senior officials.
He added there will also be a mass prayer after which the bodies will be handed over to the families.
It was further suggested that the agreement is for 102 bodies, with the current transfer as the first stage in the process.
It is likely the matter is not connected to the Shalit prisoner exchange deal. It is estimated that the transfer is an Israeli gesture ahead of the month of Ramadan.
Elior Levy is Ynet's Palestinian affairs correspondent
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook