Ramallah, 4 August: 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.      AP