Palestinian mourners carry the
body of Mahmoud Abu Amra


Aljazeera correspondent Sameer Abu Shamala said he heard three explosions, followed by clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli occupation army.

The fighting took place near the Kissufim settlement southeast of Dair Al Balah town.

Mahmoud Abu Amra, 25, was killed by Israeli forces as he approached them strapped with explosives.

Amra was reported a member of the Jerusalem Brigades - a group linked to the Islamic Jihad Movement.

Three civilians, including a seven-year-old child, Ahmed Abu Harbeid were also wounded in the shooting.

The shootings occurred one day after the Israeli army said the total closure of the occupied territories would be eased. But Palestinians say little has changed despite Israel’s claim.

The move was billed as a goodwill gesture prior to Wednesday’s meeting with US President George W Bush, and the Palestinian and Israeli prime ministers in Jordan.

Israeli officials said that about 25,000 Palestinians would be permitted to return to their jobs in Israel.

However, Aljazeera’s correspondent stated that Israel’s figure was inflated partly to win over international support.

He put the number of Palestinian workers allowed back into Israel at about 4,500.