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Violence Continues as Zinni Pushes for Ceasefire.

By Laurie Kassman (VOA-Jerusalem)

A Palestinian gunman killed an Israeli teenager and wounded at least 10 others in the central Israeli town of Kfar Saba before being killed by police. And in a separate attack, a suicide bomber blew himself up near a bus in the French Hill neighborhood of Jerusalem.

No groups have claimed responsibility for the attacks. Despite the violence, U.S. envoy Anthony Zinni is continuing his consultations to achieve a cease-fire.

Witnesses say the gunman calmly walked down the middle of the road toward police after firing at pedestrians near the police station in Kfar Saba. This is the third suicide attack in Kfar Saba since the Palestinian uprising erupted 18 months ago. The town is located about 12 miles north of Tel Aviv inside Israel, but only .6 miles west of the West Bank town of Qalqilya. Israeli troops had invaded the Palestinian town last week to hunt down suspected terrorists. They pulled out on Friday after Zinni arrived in Israel to try to broker a cease-fire.

The Palestinians said they would not start ceasefire negotiations until Israeli forces pul out of all Palestinian-controlled lands. Israeli troops still remain in several locations, including the West Bank town of Bethlehem. On Sunday, Israeli tanks moved into the center of the city amid heavy exchanges of gunfire. In the suicide attack Sunday in Jerusalem, police say the bomber set off explosives as he rushed at a bus, killing himself but only lightly injuring several bystanders.

Israel's government has condemned the attacks. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has warned that Israel wouldl respond to any violence even during cease-fire negotiations. U.S. envoy Zinni is in Israel in his third attempt to bring an end to the bloodshed.

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Publication:Israel Faxx
Date:Mar 18, 2002
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