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Monday, May 13, 2002, updated at 11:09(GMT+8)

Middle East Peace Process
Arafat Emerges as Hero of Palestinians
Israel's Ruling Party Votes Against Creation of Palestinian State

Israel's ruling party Likud Sunday night voted almost unanimously to reject the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the Palestinian territories.

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1,521 Palestinians Killed, 40,000 Wounded in Intifada: Report
At least 1,521 Palestinians were killed and about 40,000 wounded by Israeli troops since the Palestinian Intifada, or uprising, started more than 19 months ago, said a report published by a Palestinian organization on Sunday.

Israel's Ruling Party Votes Against Creation of Palestinian State
Israel's ruling party Likud Sunday night voted almost unanimously to reject the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the Palestinian territories.

Egypt, S. Arabia Agree on Steps to Activate Arab Peace Plan: Maher
Egypt and Saudi Arabia on Sunday agreed on steps to activate an Arab peace plan which calls for the normalization of the Arab-Israeli ties in exchange for Israel's withdrawal from all its occupied Arab lands since the 1967 Middle East war.

Egypt, S. Arabia, Syria Voice Desire for Peace With Israel
The leaders of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria Saturday night expressed common desire for peace with Israel and rejection of all forms of violence in a statement.

13 Palestinian Militants to be Sent to Several EU Countries: CNN
Thirteen Palestinian militants holed up in the Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity will be deported to several European Union countries under a new deal reached on ending the 38-day church standoff, CNN reported on Thursday.

Israeli Cabinet Approves Retaliatory Operations Against Palestinians
The Israeli security cabinet agreed late Wednesday night to take military action against Palestinian terrorist targets, in response to a deadly suicide attack on Tuesday night which killed 15 civilians in the coastal town of Rishon Letzion.

Sharon Has No Right to Decide on Arafat's Fate: Mubarak
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stressed on Wednesday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon does not have the right to decide on the fate of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Arafat Holds Talks With Egyptian, Qatari, Turkish Leaders Over Phone
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat Wednesday discussed with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Qatari Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa al-Thani and Turkey's Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit the deteriorating situation in the Middle East over phone.

Suicide Bombing Kills 15, Wounds 40 in Israel's Coastal Town
At least 15 israelis were killed and dozens wounded Tuesday night in a suicide bombing attack in Israel's coastal town of Rishon Letzion, Israel TV reported.

Palestinians, Israel Reach Deal on Ending Church Standoff
Palestinian and Israeli negotiators reached a long-awaited deal Sunday night to end the standoff at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity that began on April 2, according to Palestinian sources.

Arafat in High Spirits to Bring Things Back to Normal: Egyptian FM
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said here on Sunday Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is in high spirits to bring the situation back to normal in the aftermath of a month-long Israeli onslaught on the Palestinians.

Israeli Withdrawal Precedes Peace Conference: Egyptian FM
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher stressed on Saturday that an Israeli withdrawal from its recently reoccupied Palestinian lands should precede any conference on the Mideast peace.

Israeli, Palestinian Negotiators Receive list of Palestinians inside Church
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators who met late Saturday in an attempt to end the month-long standoff at the Church of the Nativity in West Bank city of Bethlehem received a name list of 123 Palestinians holed up inside the church, Palestinian officials said.

China Slams Israel for Disbanding of UN Jenin Probe Team
China lashed out at Israel on Friday for making it impossible for a United Nations fact-finding team to launch its inquiry into what happened in the Jenin refugeecamp on the West Bank, saying that "Israel must resume all responsibility for all this."

UN Security Council Mounts Open Debate Over Mideast Crisis, Jenin Fact-finding
With the announced cancellation of a United Nations fact-finding mission to Jenin dominating the discussion, the Security Council Friday held an extended open debate of the situation in the Middle East, including the issue of Palestine.

Arafat Slams Israeli Crimes in First Appearance From Month-long Siege
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat slammed Israeli crimes when making his first appearance Thursday morning from a month-long siege in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Disband of Fact-finding Team Only Option for Annan: UN Official
A senior U.N. official said on Wednesday that with "fundamental" objections from the Israeli government, the disband of a U.N. fact-finding team was the only option left with Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Annan Intends to Disband UN Jenin Fact-finding Team on Thursday
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Wednesday that he intends to disband a UN fact- finding team directed to investigate allegations of excessive killing and destruction in a Palestinian refugee camp.

2 Palestinian Prisoners Handed Over to US, British Custody
Six Palestinians wanted by Israel were handed over to US and British experts in the West Bank city of Ramallah Wednesday night, Palestinian sources said.

No Link Between Delaying U.N. Team and Lifting Siege on Arafat: PNA Official
A Palestinian official denied Tuesday that there is any link between delaying the arrival of the United Nations team to Jenin and lifting the siege imposed on Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

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