RealNews

Israel Kills Gaza Militant, Sees Hizbollah Swap

Israeli troops killed an Islamic militant who tried to infiltrate a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday after Israel rejected a conditional cease-fire proposal by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat. Islamic Jihad, one of several militant groups whose violence Washington has sought to quell with a “road map” to Palestinian statehood, claimed the gunman shot dead outside Dugit settlement overnight as its own. Raising fresh prospects for relieving the diplomatic impasse, a Palestinian newspaper said Israel could free 215 Palestinian security detainees next week as part of a prisoner-swap deal with Lebanese guerrilla group Hizbollah. Senior Israeli sources declined comment on the report in Al-Quds daily but confirmed the release of Palestinian detainees was part of “accelerating” negotiations under way for the return of four Israelis held by Hizbollah since 2000. On Monday, Arafat told international envoys behind the road map he was committed to reaching a total cease-fire with Israel, but insisted they dispatch a peacekeeping force to end three years of fighting. Full Story

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