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Israeli Forces Kill Wanted Hamas Member


Israeli troops shot and killed an Islamic militant during a raid on a Palestinian village in the West Bank. The Israeli army says 45 Palestinians were arrested during the incursion.

Israeli commandos, backed by tanks, entered the Palestinian village of Tell, near Nablus, under cover of darkness.

A senior member of the Islamic militant group Hamas, identified as Mohammed Reihan, was killed during the raid. He was on Israel's most-wanted list for the killing of two residents of a nearby Jewish settlement three years ago.

The army says troops arrested militants suspected of involvement in terrorist activity before withdrawing from the village.

Witnesses say army bulldozers also destroyed homes in the village.

Last week, three Palestinians and an Israeli army officer were killed during a shootout on a road near Tell.

Israeli officials say they are changing their military tactics to combat more than 13 months of violence. They say instead of launching large-scale raids with tank deployments, "special forces" will be using what one official called "guerrilla tactics against terrorism."

The incursion follows a decision by the Israeli government to delay its withdrawal from the last two Palestinian cities re-occupied last month following the assassination of an Israeli cabinet minister.

Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer says troops will continue to stay in Jenin and Tulkarem, because there is clear evidence Palestinians are planning to launch terror attacks from those areas.

The United States and other countries have called for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian-controlled cities immediately.

Meanwhile, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has sent a message to Arab leaders, asking them to support the Palestinian uprising against Israel during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins later this week.

In the message, Mr. Arafat says the Palestinian people are determined "not to give up" and would continue "their resistance to Israel's occupation" of Palestinian territory.

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