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Israel urged to release 90 Palestinian corpses withheld for years

Tel Aviv, Nov 23 (IANS) Dozens of Palestinians rallied in the West Bank city of Jenin, demanding the return of 90 corpses withheld by Israel for years.

Director of the Palestinian rights group "Jerusalem Legal Aid Center" Issam Arouri told the rally that apart from keeping 90 corpses in Israeli morgues, authorities in the Jewish state have also buried 254 others in numbered graveyards, reports Xinhua news agency.

Palestinian Minister of Justice Mohammed al-Shalaldeh plans to pursue this issue at the UN, he added.

Palestinian observers believe that Israel is withholding Palestinian corpses as bargaining chips in any future prisoner swap deal.

In 2017, the armed wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in the Gaza Strip announced that it held four Israeli captives, including two soldiers and two civilians, without giving any details on their fate.

In 2011, Egypt brokered a prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas, in which Israel released more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return for the release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

This was the first and only prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas in 10 years.