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Israeli-Palestinian Violence Claims More Lives - 2003-04-24


A member of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction carried out a suicide bombing that police said killed one Israeli and wounded 10 others. In a separate incident, in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers shot dead two Palestinians, including one teenager.

A member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades of Mr. Arafat's Fatah organization said it had carried out the suicide bombing in Kfar Saba. He identified the bomber as 18-year-old Ahmed Katib, from a refugee camp in the northern West Bank town of Nablus.

The official spokesman for the Al-Aqsa militia denied that it had sanctioned the operation, but Palestinian sources confirmed the Palestinian youth was a member of Fatah.

Israeli police say the bomber detonated explosives when he was challenged by security guards at the entrance to the city's new train station. The explosion, during the morning rush hour, killed one of the guards, identified as 23-year-old Alexander Kostyuk, and wounded several bystanders.

An official in the office of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says the Kfar Saba attack is another vivid example of the cruelty of Palestinian terrorism and its readiness to strike at innocent Israelis at any and every opportunity.

In a separate incident hours later, two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli troops in a village near the West Bank town of Ramallah. Israeli troops reportedly opened fire, after youths pelted them with rocks.

The dead were said to be aged 24 and 18. Two others were reported wounded. The Israeli army claimed the soldiers felt their lives were in danger, and shot at the Palestinians.

The latest violence came one day after Mr. Arafat and his prime minister-designate agreed on the formation of a new Palestinian Cabinet.

President Bush has pledged that, once the Cabinet is installed, he will make public a so-called "road map" for peace that, among other points, proposes the establishment of a Palestinian state by 2005.

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