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Israel returns remains of 91 Palestinian militants

Mohammed Ballas / AP

Members of the Palestinian security forces arrange Palestinian flags on coffins containing the remains of bodies of 91 militants transferred from Israel to the Palestinian Authority, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on May 31. Israel transferred the bodies in an effort to induce Palestinian President Mehmoud Abbas to renew negotiations. Palestinian officials said all were killed either while carrying out suicide bombings or other attacks on Israeli targets.

Abbas Momani / AFP - Getty Images

Palestinian women mourn during the funeral of 91 Palestinians whose remains were returned by Israel at the Palestinian headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 31. Israel handed over the remains of scores of Palestinian militants killed in attacks against Israel, a Palestinian official said.

Reuters reports -- The remains of 91 Palestinian militants whose attacks killed hundreds of Israelis over the past 35 years were returned to the West Bank and Gaza on Thursday in a gesture Israel said it hoped could help revive peace efforts. Palestinian leaders, however, signaled no shift in their refusal to negotiate as long as Israel continues building settlements on land where they hope to establish a state.

The boxed remains of 80 militants were transferred to coffins draped in the Palestinian flag for a solemn ceremony at the official compound in Ramallah of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Read the full story: Palestinians honor dead returned by Israel.

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa / Reuters

Palestinians carry a flag-covered coffin containing the remains of a Palestinian militant outside a hospital morgue in Gaza City on May 31. The remains of 91 Palestinian militants whose attacks killed hundreds of Israelis were returned to the West Bank and Gaza on Thursday in a gesture Israel said it hoped could help revive peace efforts.

Ilia Yefimovich / Getty Images

A Palestinian flag is draped over one of the coffins as Israel returns the corpses of 91 militants, in the Police camp on May 31, in Ramallah, West Bank. The militants, killed during anti-Israeli attacks, were returned despite objections raised by Almagor, a group representing Israeli victims of Palestinian attack. According to officials, some of the militants were killed over 40 years ago. Twelve of the bodies were returned to Gaza.