Gunmen planned to kill Olmert
( AP ) - Palestinian gunmen planned to assassinate Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert when he came to the West Bank in August to meet with the Palestinian president, Israeli media cited a security chief as telling Israel's Cabinet on Sunday.
Shin Bet director Yuval Diskin told the Cabinet that a convoy was to be attacked as it entered the West Bank town of Jericho on Aug. 6, the Haaretz newspaper reported. Israel notified Palestinian authorities of the plan, and an unspecified number of militants - affiliated with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement - were arrested, the newspaper said.
Although the men admitted they planned the attack, the Palestinian Authority released them last week, media reported. Olmert's office has protested their release to Abbas, the newspaper said.
A government spokeswoman was unable to immediately confirm the reports, which had no further details about how close the militants got to carrying out the plot.
It was not clear why the assassination plan was released 2 1/2 months after it was reported.
The meeting was Olmert's first with Abbas on Palestinian soil after seven years of bloody fighting, and the location was seen as significant as the content.
Israeli and Palestinian security forces worked together to protect the Israeli leader, and Abbas gained some stature by hosting Olmert. Every other meeting has been held at Olmert's Jerusalem residence.