Ceasefire under pressure as Israelis kill Palestinian

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The Independent Online

A 17-year-old Palestinian youth was shot and killed by Israeli troops today during clashes in the Gaza Strip, and at least 80 people were injured, hospital officials said. An Israeli soldier was also wounded.

A 17-year-old Palestinian youth was shot and killed by Israeli troops today during clashes in the Gaza Strip, and at least 80 people were injured, hospital officials said. An Israeli soldier was also wounded.

The violence threatened to derail the fragile truce declared last week and followed up by security meetings attended by both sides.

It comes after six Palestinians died in clashes with Israeli troops on yesterday, the first anniversary of the outbreak of the violence. Another Palestinian was killed when the bomb he was making exploded prematurely.

Palestinians rioted near roads leading to the Jewish settlements, including that of Kfar Darom in the center of the Gaza Strip. From this area alone Red Crescent officials at two separate hospitals said they'd received a total of 30 casualties, all injured by live bullets, the ages ranging from 12 to 22 years old.

In other clashes around the Gaza Strip another 20 Palestinians were injured by live and rubber-coated bullets.

The Israeli army said its forces responded to mass violent rioting by Palestinian protesters with crowd dispersal measures, including tear gas and live bullets. It would give no further information about the wounded soldier.

The two sides traded blame over the violence, but said they would go ahead with truce provisions, despite deep scepticism. The cease-fire terms were worked out earlier this week in talks between Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Security commanders from both sides met yesterday, and Israel said that in a first step it would ease some of its security blockades of Palestinian towns.

The United States has been pressing both sides to end the fighting that has claimed 656 lives on the Palestinian side and 177 on the Israeli side.

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