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Palestinian President Says Prisoner Exchange Proposal Shared with Israel, Hamas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Egyptian mediators have shared a proposal with the Israeli government and Hamas on a prisoner exchange.

Mr. Abbas spoke Wednesday in the West Bank town of Ramallah. He suggested the sides may need two to three weeks to consider the proposal.

Egypt has mediated Israeli-Palestinian talks on a Palestinian prisoner release in exchange for an Israeli soldier seized by Palestinian militants in a raid last June.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has so far ruled out releasing such prisoners.

Meanwhile, Palestinian medics say a Palestinian man has been killed by what they describe as Israeli gunfire in the northern Gaza Strip. The Israeli army confirmed a unit had been patrolling the area but denied that it opened fire.

Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli raids have raised tensions along the Gaza-Israel border in recent weeks.

Last week, both sides reaffirmed the importance of a ceasefire agreement reached last November, but Palestinian leaders said the ceasefire must be expanded to include the West Bank to be viable.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said Israel will take military action if Palestinian militants continue to fire rockets at Israel.

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