Israel is to return the remains of 36 Palestinians buried in Israel to the Palestinian Authority government.
According to a report by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency on Saturday, Jerusalem will hand the remains over to Ramallah as a gesture aimed at encouraging the PA to continue cooperating with US-facilitated peace talks.
The news agency quoted Salim Khillah, a spokesman for a committee to retrieve Palestinian remains from Israeli custody, as saying that the remains would be returned on January 26.
Among those whose remains will be returned is Majdi Abd al-Jawad Khanfar, who was killed by IDF fire in 2002 after killing an Israeli soldier at a West Bank checkpoint, Khillah said.
According to a spokesman for the Israeli rights group HaMoked, however, the decision was prompted by an Israeli Supreme Court ruling ordering the government to return the remains.
Meanwhile Saturday, the London-based al-Hayat newspaper reported that US Secretary of State John Kerry would present a memorandum of understanding between Israel and the Palestinians in Jordan at the end of January.
However, Palestinian sources told the newspaper that the document was just a vague outline with flexible contents, as the two sides are due to discuss the particulars of the agreement as peace talks proceed.
According to the report, Kerry is due to present the document at a summit in Aqaba hosted by Jordanian King Abdullah.