DHAKA: Israel has handed over to the Palestinian Authority the remains of more than 90 Palestinians who died carrying out attacks against Israel, according to BBC.
The remains include suicide bombers and militants who died in operations as far back as 1975.
The repatriation of the bodies forms part of a deal to end a mass hunger strike by hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Israeli officials say the transfer is a confidence-building gesture.
Coffins containing the remains were transferred just after dawn, and are now in Ramallah. A special ceremony will be held later, before the bodies are buried again.
The repatriation has long been a sensitive issue often subject to prolonged negotiations, the BBC`s Jon Donnison in Ramallah says.
The dead are considered martyrs by Palestinians, but terrorists by Israelis and their remains are used as bargaining chips, he says.
Earlier this month Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails agreed to end a mass hunger strike, which had been going on for more than two months.
More than 1,500 Palestinians had been refusing food to demand an improvement in conditions.
There were fears of a violent Palestinian backlash, had any of the inmates died.
The mother of one of the dead, Um Ramez Obeid, said the transfer made her "very happy".
"We have waited for this moment for 16 years. The more they talked about the deal to hand over the bodies, the more we hoped his body will be among them.
"God willing they will hand over his body to us, to be buried next to his father at the cemetery. We will visit him, even if he is dead and is in the grave, I feel that he is returned to me."
Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said he hoped the "humanitarian gesture" would help get the peace process back on track.
"Israel is ready for the immediate resumption of peace talks without any preconditions whatsoever," he said.
Direct talks collapsed in December 2010 over Israel`s refusal to stop building settlements in the occupied West Bank.
BDST: 1420 HRS, May 31, 2012
Edited by:Tilka Binte Mehtab, Newsroom Editor
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