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Wednesday, 25 July, 2001, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
Palestinian dies in Israeli missile attack
Wreckage of car in which Palestinian militant Salah Darwazeh was killed
Hamas has vowed to take revenge for the killing
A Palestinian militant has been killed in an Israeli missile attack on his car near the West Bank town of Nablus.

The Islamic militant group Hamas identified the dead man as 36-year-old Salah Darwazeh, a senior political activist within the organisation.

Israeli army sources told the Associated Press news agency ground-to-ground anti-tank missiles were fired at Darwazeh's Volkswagen car near the Beit Ilma refugee camp.

Hamas will not hesitate to respond to this brutal crime

Hamas spokesman Jamal Salim
It happened as Israeli and Palestinian security officials prepared to meet to try to shore up a six-week old ceasefire.

The BBC's James Reynolds says the attack may be seen as the latest move in an Israeli policy of targeting suspected Palestinian militants.

The Israeli army said in a statement that Mr Darwazeh had been involved in planning several attacks, including two recent suicide bombings in the northern Israeli coastal resort of Netanya which killed eight Israelis and injured 130 others.

Palestinian condemnation

Palestinians say Israel has killed about 40 activists since the Palestinian uprising began last September.

Israel says it is acting in self-defence, following a wave of suicide bombings by radical Palestinian groups.

Hamas condemned the killing and has vowed to take revenge.

"This assassination is intended to hit the uprising with the aim of stopping it," said Jamal Salim, a Hamas spokesman in Nablus told the Associated Press news agency.

"Hamas will not hesitate to respond to this brutal crime."

'Wanted' list

Israel, meanwhile, has rejected as a "gimmick" a Palestinian demand for the arrest of what Palestinian officials describe as Jewish terrorists.

Palestinian security chiefs plan to present a list of 50 suspects to CIA agents at a joint weekly meeting with Israeli security officials.

The Palestinians say those named on the list are responsible for carrying out attacks, including the killing last week of three members of a Palestinian family in a gun attack on their car near the West Bank town of Hebron.

Mother of murdered baby holds up bloodied clothes as she grieves during his funeral
The Palestinians want Israel to arrest the killers of three-month-old Diya Tmeizi
"The Palestinian National Authority has proof of the participation of these 50 people in barbaric crimes against the Palestinian people," Palestinian intelligence chief Tawfiq Tirawi told the French AFP news agency.

Israel has long demanded that the Palestinian Authority arrest what it says are known terrorists living freely in areas under Palestinian control.

"There is no comparison and we will not accept any list from the Palestinian side, which would do better to respect their commitments to fight violence and terrorism," said Israeli Government spokesman Ranaan Gissin.

Israeli and Palestinian security officials have met weekly under the terms of the US-brokered ceasefire.

More than 50 people have been killed since the truce came into effect on 13 June.

The BBC's Paul Wood
"Israel has been condemned internationally for this kind of attack but they maintain it is nothing more than self defence"
See also:

24 Jul 01 | Middle East
Palestinians fight each other
24 Jul 01 | Middle East
EU tries to shore up ceasefire
24 Jul 01 | Middle East
Clashes expose Palestinian divisions
23 Jul 01 | Middle East
Israel demands details on observers
20 Jul 01 | Middle East
Killing hints at extremist revival
16 Jul 01 | Middle East
Hebron: City of strife
12 Jun 01 | Middle East
Hardliners disapprove of ceasefire plan
18 Jul 01 | Middle East
Analysis: Ceasefire under pressure
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