Israeli killed in West Bank shooting

One person was killed when Palestinian fighters opened fire on a group of Israelis near the West Bank city of Jenin, Israeli security sources have said.

    Tensions have been running high in Jenin after a recent Israeli raids and resistance activity

    The incident on Thursday came hours before Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas was to demand new powers to advance peace talks with Israel.

    No other details were immediately available.

    The shooting comes just days after Palestinian youths and resistance fighters fought fierce gunbattles with heavily armed Israeli troops in the streets of Jenin.

    The US-backed plan to end violence and pave the way for a Palestinian state by 2005 has virtually collapsed after the Israeli killing of a Hamas leader last month led to a devastating Palestinian bombing in Jerusalem.

    Tensions 

    That bombing was in turn followed by Israel's killing of several Palestinian resistance members and civilians. The resistance groups then ended their ceasefire last week.

    Rising tension between Abbas and Palestinian President
    Yasir Arafat has also hindered progress on the so-called road map peace plan.

    Abbas has said his request that parliament extend his powers was crucial to the future of the road map.

    The prime minister, appointed by Arafat on 30 April under US pressure, will address the 85-member parliament on Thursday in the West Bank city of Ram Allah, where Arafat is confined by an Israeli siege on his headquarters.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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