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SLUG: 2-292517 Israel Palestinians (L)









INTRO: A Palestinian girl was killed and a number of other Palestinians were wounded when a group of Jewish settlers went on a shooting rampage in the West Bank city of Hebron. Larry James reports from Jerusalem the attack followed the funeral of an Israeli soldier killed in a roadside ambush Friday.

TEXT: Nizim Jamjoum was shot in the head as she stood on the balcony of her family home. Witnesses said the settlers attacked Palestinian homes in Hebron shooting and throwing stones.

The incident followed the funeral of Hebron resident Elazar Leibovitz. He was one of four Israelis killed by Palestinian gunmen on Friday just outside the city.

The Israeli army says it is trying to ease the tension in Hebron, a city where hundreds of Jewish settlers live among a population of 100-thousand Palestinians.

Hebron is one of the West Bank cities occupied by Israeli troops and is under a curfew.

The shooting came as the United States announced plans to meet with Palestinian officials. Secretary of State Colin Powell, now on an Asian tour, said the meeting will take place next week, after he returns home.

He described the meeting as part of the process of moving forward to help the Palestinian community transform itself. He said that reforming the Palestinian security forces would be a major topic on the agenda. He said other issues would include the peace efforts of the so-called mediating "quartet" of the United States, Russia, the United Nations, and the European Union.

The talks will be the most senior U-S-Palestinian meeting since President Bush called for major reforms of the Palestinian Authority, including the removal of Yasser Arafat.

Meanwhile, U-S civil rights leader Jesse Jackson called for Palestinians to reject violence and adopt other forms of resistance to the Israeli occupation.

He met with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and expects to meet with Palestinian officials, including Yasser Arafat, on Monday.


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