August 17, 2008

Israel to Free 200 Palestinian Prisoners

Israel's cabinet voted Sunday to release 200 Palestinian prisoners at the urging of outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Olmert agreed to the prisoner release earlier this month as a goodwill gesture after talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and the Israeli cabinet codified the deal with a 16-4 vote, a source told CNN.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat told the broadcaster the prisoner release was set for Aug. 25.

Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti would not be among the among freed prisoners, CNN said.

Olmert has announced his plans to resign as prime minister in September.