Agreement reached to end Bethlehem siege

 A draft agreement has been reached to end the siege at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, Israel Radio announced at about 11pm (London time) on Sunday night. Israel Radio said Israel had accepted the proposal, which was presented by the United States. The reports said five or six senior Palestinians would be deported to Italy; about 30 others would be escorted to the Gaza Strip and the rest would be freed. Israeli, Palestinian, British and American negotiators are expected to decide who will be chosen for deportation or exile. Palestinian police in Bethlehem have been told to report for duty and to prepare to go to Manger Square to collect weapons from the people who will eventually come out of the church.

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