TEL AVIV, Israel, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- The Palestinian presidential elections Jan. 9 will be patterned after the 1996 elections there, Palestinian and Israeli officials agreed.
The agreement was reached Sunday at a meeting of Palestinian minister Saeb Erakat, the Secretary of the Palestinian Cabinet Hassan Abu- Libdeh and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's aides, Dov Weissglas and Shalom Turgeman.
Another meeting to discuss details will be held shortly with Israeli security and foreign ministry officials, the Israeli Prime Minister's Office said.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Thursday Israel would facilitate free Palestinian elections.
Israel "will allow free movement," Sharon promised.
Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said the army would pull out of Palestinian cities 24 hours before the elections and stay out for 72 hours.