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Palestinian President Supports New Elections


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he will support an expected call for new parliamentary elections.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday in Ramallah, Mr. Abbas says he is prepared to issue a decree ordering the elections "soon" - once the Palestinian Liberation Organization's Central Council approves them.

New elections could resolve a conflict within the government that developed after Hamas security forces seized control of the Gaza Strip last month. In response Mr. Abbas dismissed the unity government with Hamas and formed a new administration.

Tuesday, a committee of Israeli Cabinet ministers approved a list of 250 Palestinian prisoners to be released as a gesture in support of President Abbas.

Officials said the men are expected to be freed on Friday. About 85 percent of those to be released belong to Mr. Abbas's Fatah party.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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