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Israel returns remains of 2 Palestinians from Tulkarem

Feb. 24, 2014 2:14 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 25, 2014 11:30 P.M.)
TULKAREM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces late Sunday returned the remains of two Palestinian men to their families via the al-Tayba checkpoint west of Tulkarem, a Palestinian official said.

Tamir Arafeh, director of Tulkarem's military liaison, told Ma'an that the Israeli military liaison department delivered the remains of Sarhan Burhan Sarhan and Muayyad Mahmoud Saleh al-Din, both from Tulkarem.

Israel has in recent months returned the remains of several Palestinians that had been held in Israel for years.

Salim Khillah, a spokesman for a committee to retrieve Palestinian remains from Israeli custody, told Ma'an in January that Israeli authorities had decided to return the remains of 36 Palestinians held in Israeli "numbered graves."

Khillah said Israel had agreed to return the remains as a gesture to encourage the PLO to continue with peace negotiations.

But a spokesman for an Israeli human rights group told Ma'an that the delivery of the remains was the result of a Supreme Court decision.

A spokesman for HaMoked said that the decision came in response to the organization's demands for the release of the remains of every Palestinian currently held in Israel's custody.
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