The &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/11/01/39010.html' target=_blank>Israeli Government has approved a plan to pull back troops from five cities in the West Bank, and to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. Israeli security sources say senior cabinet ministers have agreed to a troop withdrawal from Jericho in the next few days.
The ministers also approved the release of 500 Palestinian prisoners shortly and another 400 later.
The steps have been taken ahead of next week's summit in Egypt between the Israeli Prime Minister, &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/world/2002/05/04/28231.html' target=_blank>Ariel Sharon, and the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, says ABC News.
Israel and the Palestinians were widely expected to draw a line under more than four years of deadly violence at the summit, which is to take place in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.