The Israeli ministerial committee on Palestinian prisoners is scheduled to meet on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to approve release of approximately 200 prisoners.

The Israeli cabinet approved on Sunday the criteria set by the ministerial committee for releasing the Palestinian prisoners. These prisoners are expected to be released by the end of August.

The Palestinian authority spokesman Nabeel Abu Rdeneh said that is a step in the right direction but still not enough. There are over 11,000 Palestinian prisoners currently held in Israeli detention centres, among them around 85 women and children in varying stages of health.

The Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is demanding the release of a larger number of prisoners in order to create a good atmosphere for Palestinian –Israeli negotiations.