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Tuesday, 9 July, 2002, 13:46 GMT 14:46 UK
Israelis kill top militant
Islamic Jihad
Islamic Jihad believe in armed confrontation
The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad says one of its leading members has been killed in a dawn raid by Israeli special forces.

Curfews have been in force since the incursions started
The organisation said Moammar Darghne, 30, died in an ambush as he was driving in his car near the West Bank town of Jenin.

The killing happened after Israeli forces rounded up more suspected militants in the West Bank as part of Operation Determined Path.

The operation was launched on 19 June to combat suicide bombing attacks instigated by groups such as Hamas.

Last month Israeli special forces shot dead a senior commander of the militant group Hamas, Muhannad Taher, who they say was chief of the group's military operations in the West Bank town of Nablus.

Shooting incident

Later on Monday, a Palestinian was killed and an Israeli police officer injured during a shoot out between a Palestinian gunman and Israeli forces near Damascus Gate in east Jerusalem.

Israeli police said the bystander was killed by the gunman. A suspect has been arrested, police said.

The incident occurred after the police officer approached a man who was acting suspiciously.

The man then pulled out a weapon - thought to be a pistol - and shot the officer, who said to be in a moderate condition in hospital.

There have been no suicide attacks for several weeks in Israel and Defence Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer on Monday indicated that the curfew on seven out of eight West Bank towns would continue.

Talks boost

In Jerusalem, Israelis and Palestinians held their first high-level contact for several months on Monday.

Shimon Peres: Breaking the ice
Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and newly-appointed Palestinian Finance Minister Salam Fayed met in Jerusalem late on Monday, to discuss economic issues including an international project to collect funds for the Palestinians.

On Tuesday Mr Peres met another Palestinian official to emerge from Yasser Arafat's recent shake-up of his administration, Interior Minister General Abdel Razaq al-Yahiya.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has set about purging and re-organising his security apparatus in response to US and Israeli demands.

Mr Arafat has been accused of doing too little to rein in militants blamed for attacks on Israelis.

He has already reshuffled his cabinet and called presidential elections for January next year.

However not all of his actions have proved popular with the Palestinian population - in particular his decision to sack the head of the Palestinian preventative security force in the West Bank, Jibril Rajoub.

About 1,000 Palestinians, mainly security men, marched in the West Bank city of Hebron on Sunday, holding up portraits of Mr Rajoub in the biggest display of opposition to his sacking yet.

Nonetheless Mr Arafat is still widely expected to win next year's elections.

The BBC's James Reynolds reports
"It bears the hallmarks of an Israeli killing"

Key stories




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07 Jul 02 | Middle East
05 Jul 02 | Hardtalk
03 Dec 01 | profiles
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