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Fighting Continues in the Middle East - 2002-11-20


Israel says its forces found strong evidence of ties to terrorist groups in a raid on a Palestinian security compound in Gaza City early Monday. Israel said the evidence proves there is a link between Palestinian authority security services and Palestinian terrorist organizations, accusations the Palestinians deny.

NATURAL SOUND, GUNFIRE

A gunfight broke out after Israeli forces entered Gaza City, but there were no reports of serious injuries. Israeli troops withdrew a few hours later. In the West Bank city of Hebron Monday, Israeli soldiers were still on patrol after 12 Israeli soldiers and security guards were killed in an ambush there late Friday. Israel had originally said the victims were settlers observing the Jewish Sabbath. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon visited the site Sunday. He said he wants to expand the Jewish area of the divided city so there can be “territorial continuity” between a settlement on the edge of Hebron and Jewish enclaves inside the city – changes that would force Palestinian residents out of their homes. After meeting with a French delegation at his headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah Monday, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said such a move would only enflame the situation, and it would go against the 1993 Oslo peace accords he signed with the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

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