Israel: Hamas must release captives for return of Palestinian bodies



TEL AVIV (dpa)- A senior Israeli army official said Sunday that Israel will not return the bodies of two Palestinians killed on Friday unless two Israeli civilians believed to be held captive by Hamas, along with the remains of Israeli soldiers, are released.
The statement from Yoav Mordechai, the head of Israel's military coordinator with the Palestinians, is the first official confirmation of the deaths, bringing the death toll from Gaza protests on Friday to 17.



Palestinians were armed and attempting to carry out an attack in Israel when they were killed, Moredechai said, adding that Israel now holds 26 bodies of Palestinians who were captured during the 2014 Israel-Hamas war and during a tunnel collapse along the Gaza border in October 2017.
Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, holds the remains of two Israeli soldiers from the 2014 war. Two other Israelis with apparent mental illnesses have crossed into the coastal enclave and are assumed to be alive.
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Sunday, April 1st 2018
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