The bus with 13 Palestinians who previously occupied the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem and are to be deported abroad is followed by the buses with 26 Palestinians sent to Gaza. The buses are escorted by cars with CIA officers. Many observers conclude in this connection that Israeli army units will launch the planned operation in Gaza after the Americans abandon it handing over the accompanied to the Palestinian authorities. Some 80 other Palestinians still remain in Bethlehem and will possibly be subjected to "filtering checks."
A nuclear-powered submarine of the British Navy surfaced in the ice of the Arctic for the first time in many years