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Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Gunman - 2002-01-17

Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian gunman Thursday during clashes which erupted following the renewal of the military blockade against West Bank cities.

Israeli soldiers have shot dead a member of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction near the West Bank town of Nablus.

He is identified as Khamis Ahmed Ali Abdullah, a senior member of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an unofficial militia group within the Fatah movement.

Palestinian security officials say he was killed during an exchange of fire with an Israeli army patrol.

Israel's army has responded to the upsurge in violence by tightening its military blockades overnight around some Palestinian ruled-cities in the West Bank.

The killing was the latest to shatter a three-week lull in the Israeli-Palestinian clashes that began 15 months ago.

Another leader of the al-Aqsa Brigades, Raed al-Karmi was killed on Monday in an explosion in the West Bank town of Tulkarem.

Israel has refused to officially accept responsibility for the blast, only saying that Mr. Karmi was wanted in connection with the murder of at least nine Jews.

The Brigades have responded to Mr. Karmi's death by killing two Jewish settlers.

On Wednesday, Palestinian gunmen, who apparently mistook him for a Jew because he was driving with Israeli license plates, also shot an Arab man dead.