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Suicide Bomber Injures 7 in Jerusalem - 2002-07-30

A Palestinian suicide bomber has injured seven people in central Jerusalem.

The attack occurred at midday in a fast food shop near police headquarters in a busy commercial area of downtown Jerusalem.

Israeli police identified the bomber as a 17-year-old from the West Bank town of Bethlehem. They say he may have detonated the explosives prematurely, causing fewer casualties.

It was the first suicide bombing in Jerusalem since two attacks last month that killed 26 Israelis. Those bombings prompted the Israeli army to re-occupy seven Palestinian population centers in the West Bank and impose a strict curfew.

Elsewhere, two Israeli settlers were shot and killed by masked gunmen in a Palestinian village near the West Bank city of Nablus. The Israelis had apparently driven to the village of Jammaien to sell fuel to a local factory when they were attacked.

Israeli police say they are looking for masked men who were seen running from the scene.

Hours earlier, a Palestinian man managed to sneak into the Jewish settlement of Itamar, adjacent to Nablus, stabbing and wounding a settler and his wife. The intruder was shot and killed by security forces.

The Israeli government said Sunday it plans to lift some of the restrictions against Palestinians, including shortening curfew hours, lifting some roadblocks, and increasing the number of permits issued to Palestinians to enter Israel to work.

Israel's defense minister, Binyamin Ben Eliezer has said he hopes to hold security talks with Palestinian officials in the coming days.