Officials: Olmert agrees to free 250 Palestinian prisoners

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has promised to free 250 Palestinian prisoners next month, Israeli and Palestinian officials said Monday. The move would be the latest in a series of prisoner releases meant as goodwill gestures to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Negotiator Saeb Erekat said Olmert informed Abbas of the planned release during a meeting in Jerusalem. Olmert spokesman David Baker confirmed the release, but said a date had not yet been set. The gesture is meant to coincide with an upcoming Muslim holiday.