Netanyahu Approves Transfer of 84 Palestinian Bodies to PA

PM's office says move is a humanitarian gesture; bodies to be transferred to Palestinian Authority in coming days ahead of the month of Ramadan.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently approved a goodwill gesture toward the Palestinians in which 84 bodies of Palestinian terrorists buried in Israel will be transferred to the Palestinian Authority.

According to sources in the Prime Minister's Office, the Palestinian Authority appealed to Israel's defense establishment regarding the matter two months ago, which was subsequently brought to Netanyahu's attention. The prime minister then gave his approval for the operation.

Netanyahu - AP - May 30, 2011

"This decision is simply a humanitarian gesture," sources in the Prime Minister's Office said. "Israel does not take part in trafficking bodies so we have no problem transferring them to the Palestinian Authority."

Most of the bodies transferred to the Palestinian Authority belong to terrorists who were responsible for suicide bombings in Israel between the years of 1967 and 1997. Some of the bodies, however, belong to terrorists responsible for attacks during the second intifada.

In recent weeks, Israel's coordinator of government activities in the territories held talks with the Palestinian Authority's minister of civil affairs, in which they agreed upon the details of the transfer. The goal is to transfer the bodies to the Palestinians in the coming days ahead of the month of Ramadan.

The Israel Defense Forces spokesman said on Monday that Israeli and Palestinian authorities are currently coordinating the details of the operation.