Israel to delay Palestinian prisoner release 'at PA's request'

Government officials said Monday they were delaying the release of 250 Palestinian prisoners until next week. The officials said the delay was at the request of the Palestinians. They said Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is on a Muslim pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia and wants to be back in the West Bank to greet the freed prisoners. The release had been set to take place on Tuesday. Israel has said the release is a goodwill gesture to Abbas meant to coincide the Muslim feast of the sacrifice. The holiday began Monday.