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Israeli forces roll into Hebron

Israeli soldier
Israeli solider on duty in Hebron Thursday  


JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Six Palestinians have been killed in an Israeli army incursion into the West Bank city of Hebron, the Palestine Red Crescent Society reports.

Israeli forces, including tanks, have also taken control of two suburbs in the city, according to statements by both the Red Crescent and Israel Defense Forces.

The incursion comes despite an agreed cease-fire between the Palestinians and Israelis that was thrashed out under intense pressure from the U.S., which believes progress in the peace process is vital to securing regional support for its war on terror.

IDF said Israeli troops Friday had taken control of the suburbs of Haret al-Sheik and Abu Sneineh following "incessant firing in Abu Sneineh and the wounding of two women" on Wednesday.

In a separate incident, one Israeli died and another was wounded in a drive-by shooting near the West Bank town of Tul-Karem, according to the IDF.

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Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has warned Washington against siding with Arab nations in regional politics as a means of keeping them on board the U.S.'s global coalition against terror.

"The leader of the free world should not ... try to appease the Arabs at our expense. This is unacceptable to us." he said.

Saeb Erakat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said the September 11 suicide attacks had provided a "golden opportunity" to return to peace talks.

Since the cease-fire deal was agreed last week between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres there has been continuing violence -- though generally at a much lower intensity -- on a daily basis.

A statement from the Israeli military on Friday complained of "constant firing on the Jewish enclave in Hebron and on IDF forces" from the two areas and added its forces will stay in the area for as long as deemed necessary.

At least three Israelis were killed and eight others wounded on Thursday when a Palestinian disguised as an Israeli soldier went on a shooting spree at the central bus station here on Thursday, authorities said.

A police volunteer on duty at the bus station shot and killed the gunman. Israel TV's Channel Two said the gunman began shooting after he arrived at Afula station in Israel by bus, The Associated Press reported.

Israeli radio stations reported that police found a letter in Arabic -- apparently a suicide note -- on the gunman's body, Reuters reported.

The Afula bus station, not far from the West Bank, has been targeted for terror attacks several times in recent years.



 
 
 
 


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