Israel: August 18, 2002


: 10.0pt"> Israel agreed to withdraw troops from Bethlehem and Gaza in return for Palestinian assurances that Palestinian security forces would prevent terrorist attacks coming from those areas. This is the first progress in peace talks since the current violence began 23 months ago. The Islamic radical organizations condemned the arrangement, as it means that the Palestinian police must attempt to stop Palestinian terrorists.

Israeli military operations continued, usually with small units of troops looking for specific suspects. At least 16 Palestinians were arrested. 

An Israeli court has temporarily banned the army's use of local Palestinians as go betweens in attempts to negotiate peaceful surrender of armed militants. This got into the courts after a well publicized incident when a Palestinian man, wearing an Israeli armored vest, was shot in the head by cornered militants who thought the Palestinian man was an Israeli soldier pretending to be a Palestinian. 




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