Israel to Free Dozens of Palestinian Prisoners before US Summit
Israel will free dozens of Palestinian prisoners and hand over three villages near Jerusalem to full Palestinian control before next week's summit in the United States, Israeli military radio reported Friday.
Quoting senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's office, the radio said Barak had promised US President Bill Clinton that he would make these "goodwill confidence-building gestures" before he meets Palestinian president Yasser Arafat at Camp David.
The Palestinians are demanding the release of some 1,650 prisoners held in Israeli jails under the Oslo agreements of 1993.
The transfer of the three villages, including Abu Dis, which has been tapped as the capital of a future Palestinian state, was approved by the Israeli government and parliament in mid-May.
But it was put on hold when violence broke out in the West Bank and Gaza Strip following Israel's refusal to release prisoners - OCCUPIED JERUSALEM (AFP)
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