Mideast meeting postponed after violence
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- A meeting between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres was postponed Thursday after an Israeli woman was shot and killed near Bethlehem in the West Bank.
The office of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the meeting, arranged in response to a cease-fire called by Arafat on Tuesday, would not now take place within 24 hours as had been expected.
The Palestinian group "Al-Aqsa Martyr's Battalion," which is associated with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction, claimed responsibility for Thursday's drive-by shooting that left Sarit Amrani, 26, dead near the Jewish settlement of Tekoa.
According to Israeli medical relief sources, the couple's three children were in the back seat of their vehicle during the shooting but were not hurt.
The shooting came less than two days after Arafat declared a cease-fire Tuesday afternoon in the West Bank and Gaza.
Just before the latest attack, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and had told him that not all the attacks had stopped.
A Sharon adviser said Powell requested that he and Sharon talk again in the future to reassess the situation.
Sharon said after the attack he would meet with his Cabinet on Thursday to discuss what to do next.
Israeli officials called off offensive operations against the Palestinians after Arafat declared a cease-fire and said he was ordering his forces not to fire on Israelis.
Leaders of the militant Islamic groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad said they would not honor the cease-fire.
Militants reject Mideast truce
September 19. 2001
Israeli Defense Forces
Palestine Red Crescent Society
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