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The BBC's Ben Brown
"Children die alongside adults"
 real 56k

The BBC's Frank Gardner in Sharm el Sheikh
"Time is a luxury the Middle East peacemakers don't have now"
 real 28k

Thursday, 5 October, 2000, 19:17 GMT 20:17 UK
Clinton appeal for Middle East peace
Hebron clash
Sporadic clashes are still continuing
President Clinton has called for an end to the killing in the Middle East and urged the Israelis and Palestinians to return to dialogue.

His call came after a second round of talks on the crisis ended without any real sign of progress.

Violence in the West Bank and Gaza appeared to have subsided following a fragile ceasefire.


Arafat... must decide whether to return to the negotiating table to reach peace or whether... [to go] down the road of confrontation and violence

Ehud Barak
But there were isolated outbreaks of violence with at least two Palestinians shot dead.

The US has been trying to broker an end to the violence in meetings held in Paris and the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh.

"The most important thing is to stop the killing and the violence," President Clinton told journalists at the White House.

But Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak appeared to question the Palestinians' committment to peace.

Funeral of Muhammad Abu Assi
Emotional scenes at a Palestinian funeral
"Arafat and the Palestinian Authority must decide whether to return to the negotiating table to reach peace or whether they are going down the road of confrontation and violence," he said on his return to Israel.

Mr Barak did not attend the talks in Egypt after an acrimonious meeting with Yasser Arafat in Paris.

More deaths

Mr Arafat has been pushing for an international inquiry into the violence in the West Bank and Gaza.

But this has been rejected by the Israelis who accuse the Palestinians of instigating the violence.

One Palestinian was reported to have been shot dead when he tried to rip down an Israeli flag from an army post at the Netzarim junction.

Yasser Arafat
Arafat has called for an independent inquiry
Another was said to have died in a clash near the West Bank town of Bethleham.

After Wednesday's Paris talks, Israeli forces have reduced their presence at flashpoints in the West Bank and Gaza, but the atmosphere is still described as very tense.

More than 70 people - almost all of them Arabs - have been killed and more than 1,000 have been injured in a week-long wave of violence following months of deadlock in the Middle East peace process.

The violence started after right-wing Israeli politician Ariel Sharon toured the holiest Islamic site in Jerusalem last Thursday in a move described as highly provocative by Palestinians.

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See also:

05 Oct 00 | Middle East
Analysis: Barak's hopes fade
05 Oct 00 | Middle East
Summit fails to end violence
04 Oct 00 | Middle East
In pictures: Tensions run high
04 Oct 00 | Middle East
Eyewitness: Anger and mourning in Gaza
03 Oct 00 | Middle East
Israel 'sorry' for killing boy
02 Oct 00 | Media reports
Israel apportions blame
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