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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 July, 2004, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
Seven dead in Mid-East violence
Smoke rises as Israeli army troops blow up a house in a residential area in the West Bank town of Nablus
Israeli troops later blew up buildings where the clash occurred
Four Palestinians and an Israeli army officer have been killed in a clash overnight in Nablus in the West Bank.

The deaths occurred in clashes after Israeli forces hunting Palestinian militants surrounded a building in Ein Beit Ilma refugee camp.

A Palestinian-born US academic and his son, 16, were among those killed as an airstrike was launched at the building.

In Gaza, Israeli troops have killed two Palestinian militants who attacked a guardpost on the Kissufim road.

Israeli military sources said the deaths in Nablus occurred as troops were trying to arrest to arrest two militants.

As they approached the house they were in, a gun battle started. One of the Palestinians was killed as was the Israeli officer.

The second gunman managed to escape to a nearby building where he was eventually killed.

Palestinian reports say a missile was fired at the building and that two civilians died including the university professor, named as US-citizen Khaled Sallah, and his son Mohammed.

"They killed them in cold blood," said Salah Salah, a brother of the academic, quoted by AP news agency.

Relatives said he was hit by a single bullet hit him in the neck, as he tried to negotiate with soldiers to leave the building.


The two others killed were senior members of the radical Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine, Palestinian officials said.

A Palestinian witness quoted by AFP news agency said one of them, Amjad Arar, was executed by soldiers as he lay wounded in the legs.

"The soldiers ... ordered me to leave, saying they would not hurt him. As I was walking away, I saw the soldiers firing bursts at Amjad," the witness is quoted as saying.

There was no immediate response to the allegations from the Israeli army.

In Gaza, Israeli troops killed two Palestinian attackers at a military post on the Kissufim road leading to the boundary with Israel.

Military sources, quoted by Reuters, said the gunmen crept to within 20 metres (60 feet) of the post before opening fire with automatic rifles and grenades.

On Monday, a 14-year-old boy was shot dead when Israeli tanks advanced into Rafah refugee camp in southern Gaza after mortar rounds were fired into a nearby Israeli settlement.

The BBC's Matthew Price
"The Palestinian gunmen clearly do not want to give up"

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