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Thursday, 18 October, 2001, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Israel buries murdered minister
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Yael Zeevi, the widow of slain minister Rehavam Zeevi
Sharon said Zeevi was an adversary and a friend
Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi, who was assassinated by Palestinian radicals in a Jerusalem hotel on Wednesday, has been buried at Mount Herzl cemetery.

Eight Israeli generals carried the coffin of the ultra-nationalist former general to burial after leaders and family members eulogised him at a state ceremony attended by hundreds of mourners.


Israel will act against the Palestinian Authority in the way currently accepted by the international community to act against a leadership that supports terror

Cabinet secretary Gideon Saar
Zeevi's son, Yiftach, called on Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to avenge his father's death: "Avenge the way [Zeevi] would avenge you," he said.

Earlier, a Palestinian schoolgirl and two security force members were killed by Israeli tank fire in the West Bank, as the Palestinian leadership rejected an Israeli ultimatum to hand over Zeevi's killers.

Palestinian authorities arrested at least three prominent members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which said it carried out Zeevi's assassination, but are refusing to hand anyone over.

In the first sign of retaliation for his killing, Israeli forces earlier entered Palestinian-controlled Ramallah and the outskirts of Jenin, where shots fired from an advancing tank hit the classroom of an elementary school, killing 11-year-old Riham Nabil and injuring five others, one seriously.

Rehavam Zeevi
Zeevi was the first Israeli minister killed by Palestinians
A police sergeant and a member of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Force 17 security organisation were shot dead in Ramallah as gunfire erupted after tanks and bulldozers pushed into the town.

In Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, the Palestinian minister for the city, Ziad Abu Zayyad, said his house and some others had been searched overnight by Israeli police and soldiers with dogs.

The showdown threatens to undercut Washington's efforts to win broad Arab and Muslim support for its military strikes against Afghanistan where Osama Bin Laden, the prime suspect in the 11 September suicide attacks on the US, is thought to be hiding.

Funeral

Mourners, some in tears, filed past Zeevi's coffin in front of parliament before it was taken to Mount Herzl for burial late on Thursday afternoon.


Today we are parting from a determined and hard person whose love for the country was greater than his love of people

Ariel Sharon
"I am parting from you, Gandhi, with great pain, an adversary and a friend," Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said, using Zeevi's nickname to eulogise him.

"Today we are parting from a determined and hard person whose love for the country was greater than his love of people," he said.

Rehavam Zeevi was a highly controversial politician. A staunch opponent of the land-for-peace deals with the Palestinians, he was shot dead outside his room in a Jerusalem hotel by two unknown gunmen early on Wednesday morning, the very day his resignation from cabinet was due to take effect.

Israeli tanks enter the West Bank town of Ramallah
Three Palestinians were killed in Israeli incursions to the West Bank
Cabinet secretary Gideon Saar told Mr Arafat to hand over Zeevi's killers or face the consequences.

Israel, he said, would "act against the Palestinian Authority in the way currently accepted by the international community to act against a leadership that supports terror".

The cabinet also demanded that the Palestinian leader outlaw several militant groups that have carried out attacks against Israelis.

Correspondents say the cabinet's threat hints at the possibility that Israel's established policy of "targeted killings" of Palestinians allegedly involved in anti-Israel attacks could be extended to include direct attacks on Palestinian Authority officials.

The Palestinians are reported to have rejected the ultimatum and top Arafat aide Nabil Abu Rudeina accused Israel of plotting the assassination of Mr Arafat himself and other senior figures in an attempt to destroy the peace process.

Vendetta

A PFLP spokesman in Damascus named Front members arrested as Rabah Muhana, a member of the political office, central committee member Yunes al-Jarou and Hani Habib, an official in the Gaza Strip.

Kayed al-Gul, a Front official in Gaza, said: "This is bad for Palestinian national unity. It's a bad move for the Palestinian police. We ask Palestinian police to release the three leaders as soon as possible."

The PFLP said it had killed Zeevi in revenge for the killing of its leader, Abu Ali Mustafa, by Israeli forces in August.

Despite long years of bloodshed in the Arab-Israeli conflict, this is the first time ever that Palestinian militants have succeeded in assassinating an elected Israeli official.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Orla Guerin in Jerusalem
"Israel is showing its anger"
Former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
"Arafat's... crocodile tears are absolutely meaningless"
Palestinian minister for Jerusalem Ziyad Abu Ziyad
"We are afraid Sharon will exploit what happened"
See also:

19 Oct 01 | Middle East
Analysis: Israel turns right
18 Oct 01 | Middle East
In pictures: Israel mourns minister
16 Oct 01 | Middle East
Israel may accept Palestinian state
27 Aug 01 | Middle East
Israel kills key Palestinian leader
17 Oct 01 | Middle East
Israeli minister shot dead
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