Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Sunday told his
Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas that Israel
would coordinate with the Palestinians on the
issue of prisoner releases, Israel Radio quoted
Palestinian sources as saying.
Earlier, it was reported that Sharon would tell Abbas at their meeting in Jerusalem that Israel will release some Islamic Jihad and Hamas prisoners, senior Israeli diplomatic officials confirmed Saturday night, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The officials said these Islamic Jihad and Hamas prisoners will be from the movements' "civic branches," and include only those "not involved in murdering people."
Sunday's meeting comes about 10 days after Abbas cancelled a meeting with Sharon.
The Israeli decision comes amid growing pressure from both Abbas and the US to both increase the number of prisoners to be released and to include members of the the two groups.
On his part, Abbas was expected to call for the lifting of the Israeli siege on Yasser Arafat and allowing him to travel abroad. Ahead of the meeting, Palestinian sources said that Abbas will call for the release of some 450 prisoners held in Israel for over 20 years. (Albawaba.com)
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