Israeli defense minister suspends body transfer

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JERUSALEM (AP) -- Defense Minister Ehud Barak has suspended talks over the transfer of the bodies of 84 Palestinian militants from an Israeli grave site to the West Bank.

Barak said in a brief statement early Tuesday that he didn't want the deal to jeopardize efforts to obtain the release of an Israeli soldier held in the Gaza Strip.

Militants linked to Gaza's militant Hamas rulers captured Sgt. Gilad Schalit five years ago.

The Israeli military said earlier Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the transfer of the bodies several months ago.

It was not clear why that approval was overturned.

None of the remains had been transfered.

The Palestinians were killed in clashes or attacks, including suicide bombings, against Israel.

Most died during the second Palestinian uprising during the last decade.