Israel Returns Decades-Old Remains of Suicide Bombers

Defense minister suggests imposing Palestine border
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2012 4:37 AM CDT
Israel Hands Over Remains of Suicide Bombers
Members of the Palestinian security forces take pictures as they stand around coffins containing the remains of 91 militants.   (AP Photo/Mohammed Ballas)

Israel has given Palestinian authorities the remains of 91 militants, including suicide bombers, in what it says is an effort to restart peace talks. The militants, who killed hundreds of Israelis in attacks as far back as 1975, had been buried in an Israeli cemetery for "enemy combatants," Reuters reports. Palestinian authorities, who have not signaled that the gesture will persuade them to return to talks, plan to hold ceremonies to honor the dead militants today, reports the AP.

"We hope that this humanitarian gesture will serve both as a confidence-building measure and help get the peace process back on track," an Israeli government spokesman said. Others in the Israeli government, however, say unilateral action may be needed to bypass the peace process, reports the New York Times. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said yesterday that the country should consider imposing the border of a future Palestinian state. "Israel cannot afford stagnation," he said. "It will be a difficult decision to make, but the time is running out." (More Israel stories.)

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