Israel kills two Palestinians in Gaza Strip; Arafat says cease-fire by Hamas expected soon
Israeli troops killed a Palestinian on Sunday evening near the Kissufim Crossing in the Gaza Strip.
Also in Gaza Strip Sunday, a 17-year-old Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli soldiers, residents said. They said he crossed in front of an Israeli tank in the town of Beit Hanoun.
Earlier, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said a cease-fire by Hamas is "probable" next week. His comments, published Sunday in the London-based Al-Hayat daily, came after the United States accepted a Palestinian plan to persuade Palestinian factions to halt anti-Israeli attacks rather than launch an immediate crackdown.
"There are Egyptian attempts. God willing we will reach something," Arafat said. "Abu Mazen (Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas) had a meeting with (Hamas) in Gaza, and we are continuing these meetings," he was quoted as saying. Asked if it was possible to reach an agreement next week, the Palestinian leader said "It is probable."
Israel has said that -- for now -- it would accept a cease-fire from the Palestinian factions. But it wants Palestinian officials to move toward disarming and disbanding these groups as soon as possible. (Albawaba.com)
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