Palestinian leaders appeared slowly to be buckling under the force of an Israeli offensive against the campaign of terror by militants. With his headquarters in flames, West Bank security chief Jibril Rajoub said he ordered his men not to surrender but that the situation was "very, very bad." In Ramallah, Yasser Arafat rejected an offer of exile, but was pleading for "urgent" deployment of an international protection force, and sympathetic visitors described him as looking "as fragile as an old grandpa." Reports put the number of suspected terrorists rounded up by Israeli forces at 700. Above, TV cameramen in Beit Jalla are ordered to stop recording a demonstration by peace activists. (Stories, pages 1, 6; editorial, page 8.)

In related developments:

• Israel also warned of "very serious" consequences if Hizbullah guerrillas massing on its border with Lebanon do not withdraw, reports said.

• Delegates to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, meeting in Malaysia, failed to agree on a definition of terrorism. But a draft declaration rejected "any attempt to associate Islamic states or Palestinian resistance with terrorism."

• An embargo of oil sales won't be used to try to force Israel to end its offensive, a source in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries told Agence France-Presse. OPEC members Iraq and Iran both had called for such a move.

Full backing for whatever the new government of Afghanistan wants to do was pledged by visiting Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf. His trip, only the third to Kabul by a Pakistani leader in more than 20 years, was repayment for a visit in February by interim Afghan leader Hamid Karzai. They dismissed reports of lingering distrust between their countries, but analysts said some members of Karzai's administration still nurse bitter memories of Pakistani support for the former Taliban regime.

The accused plotter of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda refused to attend the long-awaited opening of his trial before a UN tribunal. Army Col. Theoneste Bagasora and three codefendants face at least 10 counts of crimes against humanity. Law-yers for the four protested that they believe their rights are being violated because they don't speak English and haven't been provided with French translations of key documents in the case. More than 500,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus died in the 100-day-long slaughter.

An amnesty for "all civilians and soldiers" affiliated with the UNITA rebel movement in Angola's 27-year civil war was OK'd by parliament. The provision was part of the cease-fire deal agreed to by the rebels and the government last week. The truce is to be formalized in a signing ceremony tomorrow. But in an indication that hostilities are not yet over, seven people were killed in the ambush of a truck by suspected rebels, reports said.

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