Minister of Civil Affairs in the Palestinian government in Ramallah, Hussein ash-Sheikh, reported that Israel handed the bodies of 91 Palestinians, buried over many years in the â€śNumbers Graveyardâ€ť; the remains were sent to the Gaza Strip and to Ramallah.The Minister said that the remains will be tested for DNA analysis before being handed to the families.
He added that the remains of 12 Palestinians are on their way to the Gaza Strip, while the remains of 79 Palestinians were handed to the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, transported in Palestinian trucks, the Quds Net news agency reported.
President Mahmoud Abbas and several political, social and religious officials, in addition to the families of the slain Palestinians, will participate in an official ceremony honouring the fallen Palestinians.
Ash-Sheikh stated that the first phase of receiving the remains has officially been concluded, and that preparations are underway as Israel will be handing the remains of dozens of other fighters at a later stage.
The official said that the remains will all be examined, including by DNA analysis, in order to officially identify them before handing them to their families.
Israel buried the remains of fallen Palestinian, Lebanese and Arab fighters in a graveyards it calls â€śThe Numbers Graveyardâ€ť referring to a large number of bodies buried nameless with a number attached to each grave.
Dozens, if not hundreds of Palestinians, Egyptian soldiers and other Arab fighters, in addition to detainees who died in Israel prisons are buried in these graveyards.
Each body buried in these graveyards is given a unique number that corresponds to a security file in Israeli military databases.
Israel has never disclosed the exact locations of these graveyards, and never disclosed how many â€śnumbers graveyardsâ€ť it has. Some of the disclosed graveyards are:
– Numbers Graveyard â€“ close to Jacobsâ€™ Daughters Bridge, Jordan River area; the graveyard contains the remains of more than 500 Palestinians killed during the first Israeli-Lebanon war.
– Numbers Graveyard â€“ In the Jordan valley between Jericho and Damia Bridge, Jordan River; it contains the bodies of more than 100 persons.
– Rafdeem Graveyard – in the Jordan Valley area.
– Numbers Graveyard – north of Tiberius, next to Wadi Al-Hamam village; it contains the remains of more than 50 persons.