12/18/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Israel To Release 250 Palestinian Prisoners

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Caretaker Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Monday that 250 Palestinian prisoners would be freed in a goodwill gesture, as Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas urged Israel to maintain the Gaza truce.

The pair met in Jerusalem for the first time in two months, amid rising tension in and around the besieged Gaza Strip where Israeli forces and Palestinian militants have engaged in almost daily tit-for-tat attacks since November 4.

"Abbas had asked him to free Palestinian prisoners and Olmert told him of the decision to release 250 at the beginning of December," Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said.

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