Israeli security forces shot dead a militant from the radical HAMAS movement in an operation on Monday in Hevron on the West Bank. According to the information of the Palestinian security forces, 33 offices belonging to HAMAS and Islamic Jihad have been closed over the last few days. In a radio and television broadcast on December 16th, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat called for an immediate cessation to the violence and a return to the negotiating table. He demanded that Palestinians put an end to all armed attacks against Israelis, including suicide bombings, and confirmed that all those involved in the planning and carrying out of such operations would be arrested. Arafat announced that the Palestinian side was ready to observe a cease-fire. The Egyptian and Jordanian leaders welcomed Arafat's statement.
Russia's Foreign Ministry announced retaliatory measures against British diplomats: 23 Britons are to be expelled from the Russian Federation
Acting Russian President Vladimir Putin is winning the presidential election in the country in a landslide victory