Israeli sources reported on Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, and the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, are slated to meet on Wednesday in Jerusalem to discuss the current political situation.
Palestinian sources said that Abbas will demand Olmert to include the names of Fateh leader, Marwan Marghouthi, and PFLP secretary-general, Ahmad Saadat, in the list of detainees who will be freed as part of Olmert’s vow to release detainees as a good will gesture.
Last month, Olmert vowed during a Paris Summit that he would free Palestinian detainees as a good will gesture towards Abbas.
Meanwhile, sources in Cairo said that Israeli delegates arrived on Tuesday to hold talks with Egyptian officials on the efforts to secure the release of the captured soldiers, Gilad Shalit, in return for releasing Palestinian detainees.
Also, Olmert and Abbas will discuss the issue of Palestinian detainees who have been imprisoned by Israel before the Oslo peace deal.
The issue of releasing Marwan Barghouthi is causing wide debate in Israel, but several ministers such as Benjamin Ben Eliezer, and Gideon Ezra, said the Barghouthi is the only one who can “counter Hamas and can sign a deal with Israel”.
Last week, Israeli Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, held talks in the US with the Palestinian Chief negotiator, Ahmad Qorea’, and the US-Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. Livni and Qorea’ told Rice that some major issues should be resolved before presenting an agreement.
On her side, Rice stated that she is interested in achieving a peace breakthrough before the UN General Assembly meets in New York in mid September.