Palestinian sources reported that the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, have agreed to hold a meeting next Monday after Christmas celebrations.


The Maan News Agency reported that this meeting comes as an attempt to facilitate the obstacles between the two sides, especially the issue of Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons.

Israel and the Palestinians are still at odds regarding the identity of the detainees who will be freed in a prisoner swap deal between the two sides.

Dr. Sa’eb Erekat, head of the negations department at the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and Dr. Rafiq Al Husseini, last week held a series of meetings with the aides of Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert to finalize the needed arrangement for the upcoming Abbas-Olmert meeting.

Earlier on Thursday, Abbas met in Ramallah, with the Italian Foreign Minister, Massimo Dalima and expressed hopes that he will be able to meet Olmert before the end of this year.