Israel on Thursday handed over the remains of 91 Palestinians killed during anti-Israeli attacks, some of whom died more than 40 years ago, officials on both sides said.

The transfer began before dawn, when Israel formally gave the bodies to the Palestinians at a location near the West Bank city of Jericho, with 79 of them immediately transferred to Ramallah, and the other 12 sent to Gaza.

Several days ago, the Palestinian Authority had named the 91 “martyrs”, who include eight members of a commando unit killed in March 1975 in an Israeli assault on the Savoy Hotel in Tel Aviv where they had barricaded themselves inside with hostages.

Israeli public radio said the bodies included those of militants responsible for a string of suicide bombings in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the southern city of Beersheva.

Israel said it hoped the gesture would build confidence between the two sides and help revive the moribund peace process, which ran aground in late 2010 in a dispute over persistent settlement building.

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