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Friday, 29 September, 2000, 10:38 GMT 11:38 UK
Israeli soldiers shot
Ramallah road block
Shooting follows the most violent clashes in months
An Israeli soldier has been killed and another has been wounded in a shooting near the West Bank town of Qalqilya.

A Palestinian policeman opened fire on an Israeli army jeep in the same joint Israel-Palestinian patrol in which he was driving early on Friday.

Ariel Sharon outside mosque compound
Ariel Sharon said he toured Al-Aqsa with a "message of peace"
Qalqilya is one of the areas given joint Israeli-Palestinian control under the interim peace deals between the two sides.

The incident comes after a day after another Israeli soldier died of wounds sustained in a bomb attack against an army-escorted convoy in the Gaza Strip.

The Palestinian policeman, who reportedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) before opening fire, was immediately arrested by his comrades.

He is reported to come from the West Bank village of Assira al-Shamaliyah, which is a stronghold of the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas.

The Palestinian officer in charge of joint patrols in the area described it as "regrettable incident which must be put down to an act of madness".

Day of violence

Tensions remain high in the Palestinian territories after dozens of Palestinian protesters and Israeli policemen were hurt in clashes in the compound of Al-Aqsa mosque on Thursday.

The clashes - the worst for months - were sparked when Israel's hardline opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, conducted a tour of the compound with a delegation of his Likud party.

IDF soldier with bomb detecting dog
Israeli army was targeted with two bomb attacks in Gaza
The Al-Aqsa compound - known as the Haram al-Sharif to Muslims and the Temple Mount to Jews - represents the holiest Islamic site in Jerusalem as well as being Judaism's holiest site.

Clashes also broke out in the city of Ramallah after the visit, which was condemned as provocative by Palestinian leaders.

The BBC's Hilary Andersson in Jerusalem said Mr Sharon's tour was clearly intended to underline the Jewish claim to the city's holy sites, which were captured by Israel in 1967.

Israeli police fired bullets and tear gas to disperse stone-throwing protesters who blocked the northern entrance to the city.

Another bomb exploded in Gaza on Thursday near an Israeli military vehicle patrolling the between the occupied territory and Israel.

The bomb attacks have been blamed on Palestinian extremists.

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See also:

28 Sep 00 | Middle East
Shots fired at Jerusalem holy site
28 Sep 00 | Middle East
Barak agrees to twin Jerusalem capitals
28 Sep 00 | Middle East
Ariel Sharon: Controversial hardliner
13 Sep 00 | Middle East
Holy Jerusalem: The key to peace
25 Sep 00 | Middle East
Arafat and Barak hold talks
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