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The BBC's Nick Childs in Jerusalem
"There was more Palestinian anger on display in Gaza"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 6 December, 2000, 02:22 GMT
More deaths in West Bank
Scene funeral of Hamas bomber in Gaza
Gunman's grief? The funeral of a Hamas bomber in Gaza
Israeli forces have shot dead two Palestinians in separate incidents in the West Bank - the first deaths since Saturday in the 10-week-old conflict that has claimed 300 lives.

Officials at al-Hussein hospital in Beit Jala identified one of the dead as 22-year-old Abdul-Qader Omar, who died from wounds in the chest.

Barak on board military helicopte that flew him to Nablus
Barak: "We can be proud of the military action"
Witnesses said Israeli soldiers shot Omar, a resident of Deheisheh refugee camp, after "a minor stone-throwing incident" and Palestinian medics who were trying to tend to him were also fired on.

Earlier, a Palestinian youth died after being shot in the eye with live ammunition in Ramallah. Medics were not able to identify the boy, who was reportedly too young to carry an ID.

The deaths came as the United Nations Middle East envoy, Terje Roed-Larsen, urged both sides to urgently restart peace talks to avert the danger of this low-level conflict spiralling into a regional war.

We will harm anyone who will harm us, and I'm telling... the citizens of Israel we can be proud of the Israeli army

Ehud Barak
"The situation as it is now is not tenable," the Norwegian diplomat said. "It may continue the way it is right now for a few more weeks (but) it could deteriorate sharply, dramatically and tragically."

Last week, an extended interim deal proposed by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was rejected by the Palestinians, who want a permanent deal that settles the issues of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.

Yasser Arafat carrying automatic weapon
Yasser Arafat has taken to carrying arms again
Mr Barak paid a flying visit to a military base near the Palestinian city of Nablus on Tuesday where he spoke to the media after rallying the troops.

"We will harm anyone who will harm us, and I'm telling... the citizens of Israel we can be proud of the military action, of the Israeli army and the security forces in this area," he said.

He also said he was still in favour of forming a national unity government, before a meeting late on Tuesday to brief Ariel Sharon, leader of the right-wing opposition Likud party, on the security situation.

It was their first meeting for two weeks.

There were no reports that Mr Barak and Mr Sharon discussed forming a national unity government.

Their meeting came as former right-wing prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu hinted that he might challenge Mr Sharon for Likud party leadership before early elections expected next May.

Sporadic clashes

Palestinian radio reported sporadic clashes in the West Bank towns of al-Birah, Jenin, Nablus and Tulkarm, as well as at al-Mintar crossing in Gaza.

Qasim Brigade will continue its fight until the liberation of our land, which was defiled by the occupier

Hamas statement
Israeli troops have partially lifted a blockade imposed earlier on Gaza, but are continuing to maintain a blockade of Jenin and Hebron, the radio added.

Overnight there were further heavy exchanges of fire around Bethlehem and the outskirts of Jerusalem after protracted gunbattles on Sunday and Monday.

Awad Selmi's funeral in Gaza
Awad Selmi's funeral in Gaza
At a funeral for a senior Hamas leader killed by his own bomb on Monday, the militant organisation vowed to "bring death to every Israeli door" in the current uprising.

Palestinian police found the blown up body parts of Awad Selmi, a senior activist in the Qasim Brigades - the armed wing of Hamas - near the flashpoint Karni crossing in Gaza.

A crowd of about 30,000 marched in Selmi's funeral procession, chanting threats to "take revenge", while leaflets were distributed saying "Qasim Brigade will continue its fight until the liberation of our land, which was defiled by the occupier".

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04 Dec 00 | Middle East
Fears for a traumatised generation
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