- BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AFP)
- The more than 200 people holed up in Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity
have run out of food and water, a Palestinian negotiator involved in trying
the settle the crisis said.
- "The finished their last food yesterday (Friday)
and don't have any more water," the negotiator, Salah al-Taamari,
- He said Israeli soldiers had blocked supplies of food
and medical supplies to the church complex, and electricity had been cut
- The Israelis were also exerting "disgusting
by preventing the removal of two decomposing bodies, he said.
- Israeli authorities said they favoured opening
to end the standoff but insisted armed Palestinians in the church
- They also gave an assurance they would not touch the
church believed by most Christians to have been built over the site where
Jesus Christ was born.
- The Israeli army, which has encircled the church since
April 2, has claimed there are "more than 30 true terrorists"
inside the building along with Palestinian civilians and about 30 monks.