Jerusalem (AFP) - Israel handed over to their families Friday the bodies of 23 Palestinians killed during recent attacks on Israelis, the army said, in an apparent bid to ease tensions.
Palestinian medical sources in Hebron said 17 bodies to be buried in the area had already been received. Six others were handed over in the northern West Bank.
A spokeswoman for the army said the operation had been completed.
The army said its ambulances had met Red Crescent ones at checkpoints, and the bodies were transferred and taken to Palestinian hospitals for identification before being given to the families.
Since a wave of violence erupted at the start of October, 138 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, according to an AFP count, most while carrying out attacks on Israelis.
Israel does not always immediately return the bodies of slain attackers.
Twenty Israelis, an American and an Eritrean have also been killed in the unrest.
The military spokeswoman said that after Friday's handovers the army would have returned a total of 76 bodies and was still holding two.
Police could also be holding more bodies, she said.
Palestinian sources said the Israelis were still holding a total of 17 bodies.
Police and internal security ministry spokespersons did not immediately respond to AFP questions regarding numbers.