Negotiations aimed at ending the standoffs at Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's compound in Ramallah and at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem moved forward Thursday, but with no solid signs of resolution.
An Israeli sniper shot and wounded a Palestinian inside the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem on Wednesday morning, just hours before renewed negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians began.
The first direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators aimed and ending a standoff at Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity adjourned Tuesday without agreement.
Heavy fighting occurred Monday in the West Bank city of Nablus and the Jenin refugee camp, where hundreds of Palestinian gunmen continue to battle against Israeli soldiers.
Gunbattles intensified Thursday near one of Christianity's holiest sites, while Israeli takeovers of other towns sparked outbursts of violence in the volatile West Bank.
Israeli forces Wednesday battled gunmen in the streets of Nablus and in Bethlehem, where scores of Palestinians took refuge in one of Christianity's holiest shrines, the Church of the Nativity.
Israeli tanks and troops today withdrew from Bethlehem and nearby Beit Jala, but officials say a pullout from five other cities depends on Palestinian compliance with several demands.
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