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MIDEAST NOTEBOOK

LEBANON CEASE-FIRE. Rival Shiite Moslem factions that have been battling for years for control of southern Lebanon agreed Wednesday to a cease-fire. The two factions, the mainstream Shiite Moslem militia Amal and Hezbollah, or Party of God, said they would free all prisoners and normalize their relations under the agreement, reached under the auspices of their backers, Iran and Syria. The agreement was the latest in a series of moves that apparently reduce the powers of the factions and militias that have carved up Lebanon into spheres of influence over 15 years of civil war. Militias also agreed recently to pull out of Beirut, after troops led by Syrian soldiers forced Gen. Michel Aoun, the renegade Christian general, to give up power to the Syrian-backed government of President Elias Hrawi.SUSPECT EXTRADITED. A U.S. citizen accused of being a Palestinian terrorist has been extradited to Israel, the State Department said Wednesday night. The department warned that the move could trigger terrorist retaliation, possibly on a passenger ship in the eastern Mediterranean. The suspect, Mahmoud Atta, 37, faces trial in Jerusalem on charges of taking part in an April 1986 machine gun attack on an Israeli bus traveling through the occupied West Bank. The State Department said he is a member of the Abu Nidal Organization, which U.S. officials have called "the most dangerous terrorist organization in existence." Atta, 37 was arrested in the United States three years ago. On Aug. 31, the Supreme Court rejected his last appeal in a court battle to avoid extradition.

ISRAELIS SENTENCED. An Israeli soldier was sentenced Wednesday to two months in prison for participating in the beatings of two Palestinian brothers, one of whom later died. Three other soldiers were given suspended sentences by the military court. All four faced a maximum of 20 years in prison each. The soldiers maintained throughout the trial they were only following orders from top officers to beat Palestinian riot suspects. The order has since been changed. Also Wednesday, a spokesman for Defense Minister Moshe Arens said the minister proposed limiting the number of Palestinians working in Israel. Last month, Israeli authorities closed off the occupied lands for four days after a wave of violence between Palestinians and Jews.

_ Information from the Associated Press, New York Times and Washington Post was used in this report.

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