Two Palestinians die; US congressmen meet Arafat

Published April 17th, 2003 - 02:00 GMT

Israeli troops killed a Palestinian man in the West Bank city of Tulkarem on Thursday, Palestinian witnesses said.  

They said Yusuf Yahya, 21, was shot several times after being spotted on a Tulkarem street by Israeli forces.  


An Israeli military spokesman said the man was shot after he threw two petrol bombs at patrolling troops and as he was preparing to light up a third.  


In Gaza, hospital sources said a 32-year-old Palestinian policeman, Adham al-Katri, died on Thursday from wounds he suffered during an Israeli raid into Gaza city in February.  


Meanwhile, two Israeli soldiers were lightly wounded in an exchange of fire Thursday afternoon in the West Bank city of Jenin, Israel Radio reported.  


On the diplomatic front, a U.S. congressional delegation met Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat on Thursday in the first high-level American visit since the United States effectively boycotted Arafat last year.  


The congressmen also met with newly appointed Palestinian Prime Minister, Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Ala). On Sunday, the delegation is to meet with Syrian President Basher Assad.  


"We had a very good meeting with Arafat, and he is fully committed to the peace process," said U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California. "There is a road map that has been worked out ... and we should now pursue peace."  


Jeffery Feltman, a spokesman for U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, said the State Department did not sanction the visit. "The administration does not believe that Mr. Arafat is an interlocutor for peace," he said. (

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