An Israeli motorist has been killed in the West Bank and a Palestinian trying to detonate a bomb was shot dead in a Jewish settlement. The violence has clouded attempts by both sides to ease tensions after an upsurge of violence.

The Palestinian bomber entered a supermarket in the Jewish settlement of Efrat. When the Palestinian tried to blow himself up, there was a small blast from a detonator, but the belt of explosives strapped to his body failed to ignite.

A shopper in the store's bakery section drew his pistol and shot the attacker dead.

Suspected Palestinian gunmen shot and killed an Israeli man while he was driving on a bypass road used by Jewish settlers near Jerusalem.

The man came under fire from gunmen with automatic weapons, who apparently shot from a passing car.

In recent days, Palestinian militants have been focusing their attacks on Israeli soldiers and Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Arye Mekel stressed such incidents must end before any progress can be made to halt nearly 17 months of violence. "These terrorist attacks must stop and stop completely and stop now before we will be able to get back to the negotiating table and try to finally reach an agreement to solve the problem between the Israelis and Palestinians," he said.

In another incident, Israeli soldiers mistakenly shot and wounded a Jewish settler near Hebron. The soldiers saw the Israeli man firing a gun out his car window and thought he was a Palestinian.

The incidents came after a meeting of top Israeli and Palestinian security officials to discuss a cease-fire.

Israeli forces pulled back from positions they seized in the Gaza Strip, in the first sign of a possible easing of tensions after a week of fierce violence.

At least 25 Palestinians were killed in massive Israeli military attacks after Palestinian militants killed six Israeli soldiers in an ambush earlier this week.

Nearly 1,000 Palestinians and about 300 Israelis have died since the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation began in September 2000.