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Friday, 10 May, 2002, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
In pictures: End of Bethlehem siege
Thirteen Palestinian militants exiled from the West Bank under a deal which ended the siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem have arrived in Cyprus.

Another group of militants involved in the five-week stand-off have been given a hero's welcome in the Gaza Strip, casting doubt on Israeli hopes that they would be put on trial.

The first of the 13 Palestinians to be deported passes a metal detector as he leaves the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem at daybreak on Friday
The first of the Palestinian gunmen emerged from the Church of the Nativity shortly after 0700 (0400GMT)

Palestinian militants praying
Before embarking on the road to exile they prayed

From a rooftop in Bethlehem relatives wave and cry out the names of Palestinian family members as they exit from the Church of the Nativity
Relatives clambered for vantage points to wave and cry out the names of those heading for exile

Militants boarding a bus at Larnaca airport in Cyprus
Cyprus has given temporary shelter to 13 militants on Israel's most-wanted list

Arriving in Gaza
A group of 26 arrived in Gaza victorious

 Chief of Palestinian Public Security in Gaza, General Abdul Razaq Al Majayda kisses one of the militants
.... where far from being led to jail, they were given a hero's welcome

Monks embracing in Manher Square
There was relief among the monks at the end of the ordeal

Israeli tanks withdraw
With the siege over, Israeli tanks began withdrawing

See also:

10 May 02 | Middle East
Militants leave Bethlehem church
09 May 02 | Middle East
Timeline: Bethlehem siege
09 May 02 | Middle East
Bethlehem siege: Inside the negotiations
Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


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