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Last Updated: Monday, 3 November, 2003, 10:26 GMT
Soldiers stop West Bank bomber
Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip (archive)
Hamas may stop targeting civilians
A Palestinian suicide bomber has blown himself up near the West Bank town of Qalqilya, killing no one but himself.

Israeli military sources said security services had been tracking the man for several hours before intercepting him.

"A Palestinian terrorist ran towards the soldiers. The terrorist blew up. He did not manage to hurt the troops," an Israeli official told Reuters.

The incident came as the militant group Hamas was reportedly considering a halt to attacks on civilians.

Israel had been on high alert for hours before the incident, following an intelligence warning of an attack.

The intelligence information led soldiers to the West Bank town of Azzoun, where they encountered the suicide bomber.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said he was Sabih Abu Saud, 17, from Nablus, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

No new ceasefire

A day earlier, senior Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantissi said the group would not resume the unilateral ceasefire it undertook earlier in the year.

He made his comments amid speculation that the Palestinian Authority would press militant groups for a new ceasefire.

Palestinian militants have killed hundreds of Israelis in suicide bombings in the three-year-old Palestinian intifada, while Israeli security forces have killed more than 2,000 Palestinians.


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