At the weekly Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told ministers that Israel will not release more Palestinian prisoners until the Palestinian Authority cracks down on terrorist groups. Israel released 500 prisoners under a cease-fire agreement reached three months ago, and it was supposed to free 400 more. But Sharon put that on hold after repeated Palestinian rocket and mortar attacks in the Gaza Strip last week. Palestinian officials warned that the decision would raise tensions. Palestinian Cabinet Minister Ghassan Khatib said Sharon's policies "would only lead to the collapse of the recent cease-fire because he is using this period of calm to expand settlements in Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank."
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