Rabin closes West Bank and Gaza after policemen killed

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Israel ordered the closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and relaxed rules on firing for soldiers after Arabs shot dead two policemen yesterday, Reuter reports from Jerusalem.

The Prime Minister, Yitzhak Rabin, under pressure to curb increasing Arab-Israeli violence, said he would send reinforcements to the territories and step up army operations. Mr Rabin ordered the indefinite closure of the West Bank from midnight yesterday. He ordered Gaza to be closed on Sunday.

Mr Rabin acted hours after at least two Arabs shot dead two Israeli traffic policemen as they sat in their patrol car in Hadera, 31 miles north of Tel Aviv. The Qassam military wing of the Islamic movement Hamas said it killed them.