NABLUS // The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas says Israel will free hundreds of prisoners as a goodwill gesture before an upcoming Muslim holiday. Mr Abbas said at a conference in the northern West Bank town of Nablus today that Israel will release 250 prisoners before Eid al Adha, an important Muslim holiday. The holiday is expected to take place on Dec 8. Muslims follow a lunar calendar, and the expected date of religious holidays can vary slightly. The Israel prime minister Ehud Olmert announced last week he would release the prisoners. A spokeswoman for the Israeli prime minister says Mr Olmert is expected to set a release date after he meets with Mr Abbas again. The issue of thousands of prisoners in Israeli jails is extremely sensitive for Palestinians. * AP
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