Associated Press
RAMALLAH, 4 AUG: The chief Palestinian negotiator says Israel will release the first of four groups of long-held Palestinian prisoners next week.
Israel has agreed in principle to release 104 veteran prisoners in a US-brokered deal that cleared the way toward resuming peace talks with the Palestinians after a five-year freeze.
Negotiations began in Washington last week, and are to continue in Jerusalem next week.
Negotiator Saeb Erekat said in a statement early today that 26 prisoners will be freed on 13 August. An Israeli government official declined comment.
The USA wants a deal on the terms of a Palestinian state within nine months. The Palestinians fear Israel will seek only an interim agreement. Mr Erekat said in his statement that such a partial deal is unacceptable.