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No Sign of End to Violence Between Israel, Palestinians - 2002-03-04

At least 15 Palestinians have been killed, following an Israeli government decision to apply continuous military pressure on the Palestinian Authority. The decision followed the deaths of more than 20 Israelis in a 24-hour period.

Palestinian security and hospital sources say a woman and five children were killed when Israeli tanks fired shells at a car in the West Bank City of Ramallah. The sources say a member of the militant group Hamas owned the vehicle, but was not in the car at the time of the incident. The Israeli army says it is investigating.

Hamas has carried out scores of suicide bombings in recent months and the Israeli military has killed dozens of suspected militants in targeted attacks the Palestinians call "assassinations".

Earlier, Israeli tanks moved into the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, the second raid there in less than a week. At least five Palestinians were killed during gun battles, including a doctor who was in an ambulance that came under fire.

Three Palestinians were killed when Israeli troops, backed by tanks, launched an incursion into the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip.

In another incident, Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian man the army says was running toward a checkpoint near the West Bank city of Nablus.

The deaths followed a statement from top Israeli officials pledging to apply continuous "military pressure on the Palestinian Authority" to curb what it called "Palestinian terrorism."

The decision was made after more than 20 Israelis were killed in shooting attacks and a suicide bombing.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades said the killings were in retaliation for the deaths of more than 20 Palestinians in Israeli raids on refugee camps last week.

More than 1,000 Palestinians and about 300 Israelis have been killed since the uprising against Israeli occupation began in September, 2000.