SLUG: 2-297088 Israel / Palestinians
TITLE= ISRAEL PALESTINIANS (L)
BYLINE= LARRY JAMES
INTRO: The Israeli Army says it shot and killed two Palestinian militants hiding in a cave near the West Bank city of Hebron Wednesday. Larry James reports from Jerusalem on the ongoing military operations in Palestinian areas.
TEXT: An army spokeswoman says the two Palestinians who were killed were from the militant Islamic Jihad group and that they had shot at an Israeli patrol that came to arrest them. She said the troops returned fire, killing the men.
Palestinian sources say only that two men were killed in an exchange of gunfire with Israeli troops. They did not give any further details about their identity.
The cave the men were hiding in was later blown up.
The army also says an armed Palestinian was arrested as he tried to infiltrate into Israel from the Gaza Strip Tuesday night. He was said to have been lightly wounded in a brief exchange of gunfire.
Meanwhile, an Israeli soldier will face charges after he shot and killed a 95-year-old Palestinian woman who was riding in a taxi near the West Bank city of Ramallah. The army said the woman was killed when the soldier fired warning shots to force the taxi away from a road the army had closed to Palestinian drivers.
According to an initial investigation, the soldier operated contrary to rules of engagement. Israeli television said the soldier fired 17 bullets at the taxi and kept shooting as he ran toward the vehicle.
The shooting happened on a dirt road north of Ramallah. The army refers to the place as Chaos Road, where large numbers of Palestinians travel even though the army has declared the area off limits to them.
Elsewhere, 12 Palestinians were arrested during operations across the West Bank on Tuesday aimed at tracking down militants suspected of planning and carrying out attacks on Israelis.
The suspects were rounded up in the Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus areas.
Israeli forces have arrested dozens of suspected Palestinian
militants in the past two weeks after a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 11 people on a Jerusalem bus on November 21.
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