Israel's Supreme Court has refused to force the government to reveal the criteria for which Palestinian prisoners can be released in exchange for an Israeli soldier held by Hamas militants.

Families of three Israelis killed in Palestinian attacks filed the appeal for disclosure. They oppose a possible deal to free more than 900 prisoners, including some convicted in fatal attacks.

There have been reports that a deal was near to free the prisoners in exchange for the soldier, captured in a 2006 cross-border raid.

The Supreme Court turned down the appeal Tuesday. It said only the government has the authority to deal with such matters. The justices noted that opponents will have 48 hours to challenge each Palestinian on the release list, once it is made public.