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The BBC's Peter Biles
"There is no easing of the tension between the two sides"
 real 28k

The Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom
"We will be very glad to build confidence"
 real 28k

Yasser Arafat's spokesman Marwan Kanafani
"This terrible experience is benefiting nobody"
 real 56k

Dore Gold, advisor to Ariel Sharon
"This war has been imposed on us"
 real 56k

Friday, 11 May, 2001, 22:34 GMT 23:34 UK
Mid East violence escalates
Israeli police block the road after a bomb explosion by Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate
Two tourists were injured in the bomb blast in Jerusalem
At least two civilians are reported to have been injured when Israeli forces shelled the Palestinian village of Beit Laha in northern Gaza.

The Israeli army said it was retaliating for a Palestinian mortar bomb attack against a Jewish settlement in Gaza in which no-one was injured.

We think that people know what they have to do, and it is time for leaders to make the decisions necessary to stop it (the violence)

US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher
The attacks from both sides were the latest in a day of escalating violence and increasing tension between the two sides, with calls from the United States for both sides to "make the necessary decisions" to put an end to the violence.

"We think that people know what they have to do," US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said.

He was speaking after two Polish tourists sustained light injuries in a pipe bomb explosion near a gate leading to Jerusalem's Old City.

Earlier on Friday, clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank left one Palestinian teenager dead and several injured.


A 16-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli troops while he and dozens of other protesters were throwing stones at the soldiers near the Karni crossing between Gaza and Israel.

Palestinian protesters help an injured man
Protests in the West Bank left several injured
In the West Bank town of Ramallah, Israeli troops fired tear gas and sniper fire at several hundred demonstrators. The Palestinians responded with machine guns.

They were protesting against a another Israeli incursion into a Palestinian area in southern Gaza in which a Palestinian police post was flattened.

It was the latest of more than two dozen similar raids in the past seven days.

And, the Israeli military has said there will be no let-up in the army incursions into Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Military sources quoted on Israeli radio said the Fatah movement of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, along with Palestinian security and bodyguard units, were now considered enemies.

'Routine' raids

The Israeli army penetrated about 700 metres into the Palestinian-controlled town of Deir el-Balah early on Friday, destroying a police position and several houses.

A Palestinian inspects a building damaged in a raid on Thursday
Damage and loss of life are becoming routine
Israeli radio said the raid was mounted after two Israeli soldiers were wounded, one seriously, in a grenade attack in the southern Gaza Strip.

It said the assailants had been seen fleeing towards the police post.

BBC Jerusalem correspondent Peter Biles says operations by Israeli troops which involve temporarily moving into Palestinian-controlled areas to flush out gunmen are becoming almost routine.

A senior adviser of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon insisted the Gaza incursions were part of a long-term military effort to suppress the Palestinian uprising.

"This is not tit for tat," Dore Gold was quoted as saying by the French AFP news agency.

"This is a long-term strategy. It will be a continuous effort and only with determination, with patience as well as perseverance can we bring an end to this violence."

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