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Israelis say bomb factory destroyed

JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli troops conducting searches in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus Sunday destroyed a bomb factory in the house of a late Palestinian man suspected of terrorist activity, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The explosives were discovered in the house of Mahmoud al Titi, who was affiliated with Tanzim, an armed wing of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, Israeli officials said.

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Al Titi was killed last month by Israeli troops as he carried out "terrorist activities," military sources said. Israel held him responsible for a number of attacks in which civilians were killed.

The IDF said the facility contained 12 explosive gas containers, two cone charges, an antitank explosive, hundreds of pipe bombs, other explosives containing potassium in large amounts, and containers containing liquid and acid materials.

Troops continued to operate Sunday in Nablus and the refugee camp.

The Israeli army said earlier Sunday troops carrying out operations in the West Bank arrested 50 Palestinians over the weekend wanted for involvement in terror activity.

In a diplomatic development, European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana said Sunday a Middle East peace conference should be convened soon.

In a meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in Israel, he suggested a date sometime in the second half of July.

Solana also met with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.




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