Egyptian and Jordan intelligence sources have told Globe-Intel that the decision for their countries to pull out of the Arab League summit followed calls on the secure "Red Alert" phone that links them to the Israeli high command headquarters, the kirya, in Tel Aviv.
The calls were made last Monday and Tuesday to President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo and to Jordan's King Abdullah in his palace in Amman.
In the calls, say those intelligence sources, Sharon explained his view that if he allowed Yasser Arafat to attend the Beirut summit - it would likely trigger more violence against Israel.
Later Mossad chief Efraim Halevy briefed his counterparts in Egyptian and Jordanian intelligence about the risk that Arafat would use the Beirut summit as a platform to incite more attacks unless he received full agreement on the Saudi peace plan.
Both Mubarak and the king then spoke on the phone. On Wednesday they agreed to withdraw their delegations. The much-hyped summit was dead in the water.
But south of Beirut, in the fly-blown Bekaa Valley, another summit - the gathering of terrorist leaders - was forming their own "coalition of terror" - to fill the gap they envisage will follow the demise of Arafat.
All agreed - according to a Mossad source who said the agency had monitored the gathering-that Arafat would continue to lose credibility from being held Israel's virtual prisoner.
The proposed "coalition of terror" would then take over and mastermind future tactics.
Intelligence contacts in Lebanon, Syria and Israel have all provided Globe-Intel with details of who attended the terrorist summit.
*Hamas. With an active membership of 400, mostly on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the group sees itself as a prime force in the war of attrition against Israel.
*Islamic Jihad. Its membership is smaller. Like Hamas it is organised on classic cell lines. Each member knows only its immediate commander.
Both groups came to international notoriety in the 1980s in Beirut with the truck-bombing of 241 U.S. Marines and the kidnapping of Western hostages, including Terry Waite. Both groups are financed by Iran.
Other groups attending the summit were:
*The Sudanese Islamic National Front (INF). Its membership runs to thousands, but only a small number are identified by the CIA as "professional terrorists." It was in Sudan that bin Laden developed his al-Qaeda network into a global organisation.
*Egypt's numerous fundamentalist groups. No one knows the exact extent of their membership. But they number tens of thousands.
*Delegates from Yemen also attended.
The last "terror summit" was held last February in Beirut. Then Osama bin Laden was its key speaker.
Mossad discovered he had urged the terror groups should form a global network under his control. But the leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad had opposed the idea. They wanted to restrict their area of operations to the elimination of Israel.
Mossad claimed in a top-secret briefing to CIA Director George Tenet in Tel Aviv last summer that the two groups had been told to do so by Yasser Arafat.
Mossad, who discovered details of the scheduled summit, believe its purpose is to replace Arafat with a small group of terrorist leaders.
"Israel's ability to isolate Arafat and leave him cowering in his compound, has shown the terrorists that a figurehead is not the answer," said a former National Security Advisor to the Israeli government.
He believes the "terror coalition" will, for the first time, present a united front to wage holy war against the West - with Britain, America and Israel top of their list of targets.
* Gordon Thomas is a writer on intelligence for a number of leading European newspapers including the Sunday Express, UK; El Mundo, Spain; Welt am Sonntag, Germany. His work is also syndicated internationally by World Wide Syndication.
BEIRUT, Lebanon - CNN - 3/27/2002: The Palestinian delegation walked out of a session of the Arab League summit on Wednesday after snags arose over plans for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to address the group. Members of the delegation said the Lebanese government refused to allow Arafat to address the summit in a live broadcast via satellite from his headquarters in Ramallah, West Bank.
The Palestinians said the Lebanese wanted the speech recorded for play later. The Palestinian delegates had wanted Arafat's address to be broadcast live to the summit following an address by Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah.
While they left the session, the Palestinians said they had not left the summit.
Arafat's speech was carried on the Arabic news channel Al-Jazeera.
Arafat's address came shortly after Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah called for the Arab world to normalize relations with Israel in exchange for Israeli withdrawal from occupied territories.
Arafat expressed support for the Saudi plan, which was floated in an article in The New York Times last month. The crown prince also called for the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and the right of refugees to return.
"In spite of all that has happened -- and what still may happen -- the primary issue in the heart and mind of every person in our Arab and Islamic nation is the restoration of legitimate rights in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon," the prince told the summit.
"I would further say to the Israeli people that if their government abandons the policy of force and oppression and embraces true peace, we will not hesitate to accept the right of the Israeli people to live in security with the people of the region," he said.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, at the opening of the summit, said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Arafat "must reaffirm the strategic choice for peace, based on a just, lasting and comprehensive settlement."
"It is their role, and their duty, to lead their peoples back from the brink.... History and their peoples will judge them harshly if they do not," Annan said.
In other opening remarks, Jordanian Prime Minister Ali Abu al-Raghib pronounced his country's support for the Palestinian uprising against Israel and condemned Israel for putting up obstacles to peace, while at the same time, calling on Arab states to back the Saudi-backed peace plan.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan's King Abdullah -- the leaders of the only two Arab states with relations with Israel -- have both announced they will not be present at the summit in Beirut. They both sent representatives in their place.
Despite the withdrawal, both the foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan said Arab leaders were planning to send a historic message to Israelis that offers an end to the Middle East conflict, security and recognition for Israel. In his opening speech, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud linked Israel's policy with the U.S.-led war on terrorism. "We the Arabs were the first to renounce and to condemn terrorism and we say that occupation is the worst terrorism," Lahoud said.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher said Tuesday it would be the first time Arab leaders collectively would formally address the Israeli public.
"We are telling the whole Israeli people we are ready for peace," said Muasher, whose country is a neighbor of Israel and has a peace treaty with the Jewish state.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher had sounded a similar theme Tuesday.
"The message the Arab summit will be sending to the world and to the Israelis in fact is that we want peace," he told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
Muasher said the Saudi Arabian peace plan that is to be discussed at the summit and expected to be supported "is going to be converted into an Arab initiative" as a basis to offer peace, security and full recognition to the Jewish state.
Palestinian officials said late Tuesday that Arafat would not attend the summit, accusing Sharon of undermining the Palestinian leader's intended mission.
The decision was made during a late-night meeting between top Palestinian officials in Ramallah hours after Sharon said the conditions were "not yet ripe" for Arafat to travel to the summit.
Sharon indicated that if a terror attack occurred while Arafat was gone, Israel reserved the right not to let him return to the West Bank.
Arafat's decision not to attend the summit also came after Egypt advised the Palestinian leader he should drop plans to travel to Beirut, and Egypt's Mubarak abruptly announced he would not attend the summit.
While the Egyptian government gave no specific reason for Mubarak's decision, CNN's Ben Wedeman reported from Cairo that the Egyptians were unhappy that Israel might not allow Arafat to attend.
In the latest violence in the region, Israeli forces killed two armed Palestinians in Gaza early Wednesday after being attacked in two separate incidents during an overnight operation, the Israel Defense Forces said.