Source AP ©

Israeli Prime Minister wants to free some Palestinian prisoners

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will propose to his Cabinet next week to release some Palestinian prisoners.

Speaking at a gathering of his Kadima Party, Olmert did not say how many prisoners would be freed. He said they would not have "blood on their hands," meaning direct involvement in deadly attacks against Israelis.

Olmert said Israel must seek ways to deal with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whom he praised as a "moderate." Olmert pledged to continue regular meetings with Abbas "in order to reach political understandings."

"There are drawbacks," Olmert said, "and it is always possible to say no. Now we must look for opportunities to say yes."

Olmert also addressed the Mideast peace conference that U.S. President Bush has called, probably in November.

"It is important that moderate countries like Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia take part in the meeting," Olmert said.