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|Tuesday, November 14, 2000, updated at 10:19(GMT+8)|
Israel Imposes Closure on Areas Under Full Palestinian ControlIsraeli forces have imposed a complete closure on areas in the West Bank which are under full Palestinian control (Area A) Monday night in response to the fatal shootings on Israelis in the territories, Israeli central command chief Yitzhak Eitan said.
Eitan told a press conference that under the closure which has no time limit, all Palestinian vehicles will be barred from entering and leaving Palestinian cities except for humanitarian reasons such as the transportation of food, medicine and wounded people.
The move was taken at a meeting of Israeli security and military officials called by acting Prime Minister and Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer in the wake of shooting incidents Monday, in which four Israelis were killed and eight others wounded.
Eitan accused the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) of being responsible for the "terrorist attacks." The assailants have fled to the areas under full Palestinian control, and instead of taking actions against them, the PNA has encouraged their shootings, said the military chief.
Besides imposing a closure on the Palestinian territories, the Israeli military is going to take some other measures which the chief refused to disclose.
Prime Minister Ehud Barak's media advisor David Baker said in a statement Monday night that Israel will not tolerate those who injure Israeli soldiers and civilians and will act to punish them.
The statement charged that the shooting incidents were a direct result of the PNA leadership's encouragement of violence. It called on Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to exercise restraint and let the military take actions.
Barak, who is on a trip in the United States, condemned the shooting attacks, saying that he viewed them as a grave violation of the Sharm el Sheikh ceasefire understandings reached between the Israelis and the Palestinians in mid-October.
Israeli military said two of the three people killed in two separate drive-by shootings near the settlements of Shilo and Ofra, south of the West Bank town of Nablus, were Israeli soldiers. The third was a settler woman.
The man who was killed in Gaza was a truck driver.
A Palestinian organization which called itself "Saladin Brigades" has claimed responsibility for the shooting attacks in the West Bank.
In the meantime, there were further exchanges of gunfire between Israeli forces at the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo in southern Jerusalem and armed Palestinians in the neighboring Arab village of Beit Jala near Bethlehem. No casualties were reported.
Four Palestinians also died the same day. Two Palestinian teenagers were shot and killed by Israeli troops in clashes in Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip earlier Monday, hospital officials said.
A 19-year-old Ahmed Dahlan, the nephew of Mohammed Dahlan, the head of Palestinian preventative security in the Gaza Strip, died in the day in an Israeli hospital of wounds suffered in clashes with Israeli troops in Khan Younis Saturday.
A 34-year-old Palestinian was also killed Monday after being shot with three bullets by Israeli soldiers near the West Bank town of Qalqiliya.
More than 200 people, mostly Palestinians, have been killed and thousands others wounded in more than six weeks of bloody clashes between Palestinians and Israelis.
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