Israel to return bodies of 36 Palestinians

Jan. 18, 2014 at 6:59 PM

RAMALLAH, West Bank, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Israel plans to return the bodies of 36 Palestinians buried there starting Sunday, a spokesman for the Palestinian committee on reburial said.

The Palestinian Ma'an News Agency said Israel has agreed to return the bodies, starting with the remains of Majdi Abd al-Jawad Khanfar, Samil Khillah said. Khanfar's remains were scheduled to arrive at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Taybeh checkpoint near Tulkarem. Ma'an said.

Khanfar, who was killed in 2002 in an attack on an Israeli checkpoint, is the only one of the 36 whose identity has been confirmed by DNA testing, Ma'an said.

The Israeli news website Ynetnews.com, citing Palestinian sources, said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has prepared a draft document for talks scheduled to be held in Aqaba, Jordan. The draft reportedly would allow Israel to annex the West Bank settlements and includes a statement of support for the Palestinian Authority's claim to East Jerusalem as its capital.

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