RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- The Palestinians have agreed to a detailed plan for transferring six wanted men from Yasser Arafat's compound to a West Bank prison, paving the way for the Palestinian leader's release from Israeli confinement, possibly by nightfall, a Palestinian official said Wednesday.
Mohammed Rashid, an Arafat adviser directly involved in the negotiations, told The Associated Press that the six prisoners were expected to be moved from Arafat's headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah to the town of Jericho within several hours.
Immediately after the prisoners have left Ramallah, Israeli tanks would leave the Palestinian city, including Arafat's headquarters.
"Ramallah will be freed by tanks immediately after the prisoners leave the compound," Rashid said.
Later Wednesday, Israeli and Palestinian teams met in Jerusalem to finalize the arrangements for the prisoner transfer and the Israel pullback from Ramallah, Palestinian security officials said.
In Gaza, four Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire, including a 2-year-old girl. In a West Bank village near Bethlehem, an 11-year-old Palestinian boy was killed and two other youngsters were critically wounded in a mysterious explosion.
In Bethlehem, two Palestinian policemen emerged from the Church of the Nativity on Wednesday, a day after 26 civilians and members of the security forces walked out of the besieged compound. Nearly 200 others, including two dozen Palestinians wanted by Israel, remain holed up in one of Christianity's holiest shrines, and there were no signs the monthlong standoff was ending.
In the Jenin camp, the scene of the fiercest fighting in Israel's April military offensive, Palestinian officials said Wednesday that 58 bodies had been recovered so far, up from 48 counted last week. The Boston-based Physicians for Human Rights said in a preliminary report Wednesday that as of last week, the Jenin Hospital had received 30 bodies from the camp.
At the United Nations, Secretary-General Kofi Annan was considering canceling a U.N. fact-finding mission to the Jenin camp because of Israel's complaints about the team. Annan was looking for advice from the Security Council on Wednesday before making the decision.
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