Israel told Palestinian television stations in the flashpoint town of Hebron in the West Bank to evacuate their offices after a day of deadly clashes which claimed the lives of six Palestinians and three Israeli soldiers, a Palestinian source said early Thursday.
"The television stations were asked to evacuate their offices within 20 minutes," a journalist at one of the stations told AFP.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak said after a three-hour security cabinet meeting overnight to discuss the upsurge in violence that the army would act with force, but without getting carried away into "adventurous acts."
A total of 169 people, most of them Palestinians, have been killed in daily clashes since a provocative September 28 visit by Israeli hardline opposition leader Ariel Sharon to a hotly contested holy site in Jerusalem.
Gunbattles between Israeli soldiers, Jewish settlers and armed Palestinians erupted after nightfall in Hebron but there were no reports of injuries.
On Wednesday, the Israeli army lifted a month-long closure on the Arab section of Hebron, where some 400 extremist Jewish settlers live in armed enclaves among the city's 120,000 Arab inhabitants.
Under a US-brokered January 1997 agreement, Israel withdrew its troops from four-fifths of Hebron, retaining control of 20 percent of the city where the settlers live -- HEBRON, West Bank (AFP)
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