The scheduled release by Israel of 230 Palestinian prisoners will be delayed for a week, and each side is saying the other caused the hold-up.
On Sunday, Israel’s cabinet agreed to the release that was due to take place on Tuesday, as Muslims celebrated Eid.
While a Palestinian official blamed legal difficulties on the Israeli side, Israeli officials said Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian leader, who is away for the Haj pilgrimage, requested it so he could receive the detainees in person.
Israel holds about 11,000 Palestinians in custody and released about 200 in August.
The Palestinian leader has not been in contact with Israeli officials about the delay, said a top Abbas aid, Rafiq Husseini, insisting their explanation was false.
“I can assure you [Mr Abbas] doesn’t want to see these people imprisoned for one single day”, he said.
Mr Abbas has demanded freedom for all the prisoners.
The release would come from the ranks of Mr Abbas’s Fatah faction and other non-Islamist groups, in order to coincide with the Muslim holiday of Eid, which follows the Haj pilgrimage in Mecca, said the office of Israeli PM Ehud Olmert.