BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Middle East
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 



The BBC's Bill Hayton
"Sharon will not start negotiations until there have been six weeks of peace"
 real 56k

Monday, 18 June, 2001, 22:38 GMT 23:38 UK
Mid-East killings go on despite truce
Funeral cortege of slain settler Yehuda Dan
Yehuda Dan's body was taken past the PM's office
The death toll after five days of a fragile US-brokered Middle East truce increased on Monday when two Jewish settlers and a Palestinian lost their lives as a result of separate shooting incidents.


Sharon's government has fallen into the trap of the so-called ceasefire and lifted the siege on Palestinian towns, so it is responsible

Settlers' council statement
Eight people have now been killed in clashes since the ceasefire came into force last Wednesday.

The settlers killed on Monday died in Palestinian ambushes in the West Bank while a Palestinian youth who was shot the day before by Israeli troops died of his wounds.

Meanwhile, a Gaza family buried their 12-year-old son who they say was shot by Israeli troops on Sunday as he watched other boys throwing stones at the soldiers.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has said he is resisting pressure from settlers to abandon the truce and launch an all-out war on the Palestinians.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Ariel Sharon: Under pressure from the right
However, he also reiterated his unshakable opposition to political negotiations with the Palestinians against a backdrop of violence.

Talks have continued under US supervision at the level of security officials - the latest coming on Monday afternoon in Tel Aviv.

But a BBC correspondent in Jerusalem says there are growing questions about whether the truce can hold and whether it can be the foundation on which to resume a wider peace process.

Settler anger

After the death of the first settler, the Yesha Council, which represents the 200,000 Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, called for Mr Sharon to impose a military solution to the eight-month Palestinian uprising.

Grieving brother of slain boy Ali Abu Shawesh holds up his portrait
Ali Abu Shawesh (picture right) was shot dead on Sunday
"Sharon's government has fallen into the trap of the so-called ceasefire and lifted the siege on Palestinian towns, so it is responsible" for settler Yehuda Dan's death, the council said in a statement.

Mr Sharon - formerly a champion of Yesha's cause - brushed the suggestion aside, saying: "I have no intention of heeding the war cries of some people."

"War can only be the last resort and nothing justifies it in the current situation," he added.

Arrests

After news of the second death, settlers went on a rampage of vandalism in the Palestinian village of Umm Safa near Ramallah, French news agency AFP reported, quoting settler sources.

The police intervened and made arrests, but dozens of settlers then turned on the police to free their arrested comrades.

Palestinians watch as Israeli bulldozer clears road block
A bulldozer cleared a blocked road near Halhul
The Israeli army said it had begun easing its blockade on the West Bank on Monday, pulling back tanks, opening some roads and removing checkpoints.

A spokeswoman said it was part of the implementation of the ceasefire, which was negotiated by American Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet.

However, Palestinian witnesses said all main roads across the territory remained closed and in some areas the army had even tightened the blockade by sealing off side roads.

The Israeli army also announced that it had reimposed the blockade on the Palestinian town of Tulkarm and reinstated several roadblocks in the region following the attacks on settlers.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

18 Jun 01 | Middle East
Shimon Peres: Fighter for peace
18 Jun 01 | Middle East
Israelis outraged by BBC documentary
13 Jun 01 | Middle East
Kofi Annan pushes for Mid-East peace
12 Jun 01 | Middle East
Hardliners disapprove of ceasefire plan
06 Jun 01 | Middle East
CIA back centre stage in Mid-East
06 Jun 01 | Middle East
Viewpoint: Gazans fear for the future
13 Jun 01 | Middle East
Israeli press sceptical on truce
18 Jun 01 | Middle East
Analysis: Annan's Middle East progress
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories