Israeli troops Sunday shot dead four suspected Arab militants who crossed the border into the Jewish state from Jordan. The latest incident of violence comes as U.S. envoy Anthony Zinni attempts to negotiate the implementation of an Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire.
Members of an elite Israeli commando unit spotted what they described as "four suspected terrorists" who had crossed over from Jordan, close to the southern slopes of the Golan Heights. The soldiers opened fire, killing three of the four men. The fourth was later tracked down and also shot dead.
Authorities said the Israeli army had been alerted to their presence after someone touched the electronic border fence and soldiers then began combing the area.
In a separate incident earlier Sunday, authorities said, Palestinian gunmen killed a 23-year-old Israeli woman in a drive-by shooting near the West Bank town of Ramallah. The woman worked as a kindergarten teacher in the nearby Jewish settlement of Ofra.
In response to the latest violence, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told his Cabinet Sunday that he was prepared to bar Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat from traveling to a summit of the Arab League in Beirut this coming week. The meeting is poised to discuss a Saudi initiative to end the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Mr. Sharon says Mr. Arafat "will not leave Ramallah as long as he does not act against the terror."
The Israeli leader made his remarks shortly before U.S. envoy Anthony Zinni was due to chair a meeting of Israeli and Palestinian security chiefs.
The two sides are attempting to reach agreement on the implementation of a cease-fire accord drawn up last year by U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director George Tenet.