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Israel Transfers Bodies of Palestinians Killed in Wave of Attacks

  • VOA News

Israeli forensic policemen work at the scene of a shooting incident in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Jan. 1, 2016.

Israeli forensic policemen work at the scene of a shooting incident in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Jan. 1, 2016.

Israel has transferred the bodies of 23 Palestinians killed during a recent wave of attacks on Israelis to Palestinian towns and villages in the West Bank, in an apparent bid to ease tensions.

An Israeli army spokesperson and Palestinian medical sources confirmed Friday that the operation had been completed.

Israel does not always immediately return the bodies of slain attackers.

This comes amid a rash of almost daily Palestinian stabbings, shootings and vehicular attacks that have killed 21 Israelis in recent months. More than 130 Palestinians have died in Israeli defensive measures and counterattacks in the same period. Israel says most of them were attacking or attempting to attack Israelis.

Israeli leaders say Islamist groups who call for the destruction of Israel have played a major role in inciting the violence. Palestinians say the violence stems from frustration linked to Israel's occupation of land they seek for an independent state.

Meanwhile, police say two people were killed and at least three wounded when a gunman opened fire Friday outside a bar in a busy area of Tel Aviv.

Authorities are working to confirm the identity of the gunman and the motive for the shooting.

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