Palestinian security members stand next to coffins of 91 Palestinians before their funeral ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on May 31, 2012.
Israel has returned the bodies of 91 Palestinians to their families in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the hope of persuading the Palestinians to get back to the negotiating table.
The bodies were remains of the Palestinians exhumed for the transfer to their families from a cemetery in the Jordan Valley, the Associated Press cited Palestinian official Salem Khileh as saying.
Seventy-nine of the bodies were transported to Ramallah and 12 to the Gaza Strip, with a ceremony to honor the Palestinians expected to be held in both places later in the day.
Israel has withheld the bodies of hundreds of Palestinians in secretive numbered graves since the late 1960s.
Israel described the move as a “humanitarian gesture” and a “confidence-building measure,” expressing hope that the Palestinian Authority (PA) would resume direct talks with Tel Aviv without any preconditions.
Humanitarian gesture? Pssht.