NABLUS, West Bank (AP) – Five Palestinians died yesterday when Israeli soldiers swept through the West Bank town of Tulkarem, one a leading militant and another a teenager who had climbed on top of an Israeli armored vehicle, Palestinians said.

Paul Wong
An Israeli settler tends to her baby yesterday in a settlement expansion outpost in the West Bank town of Hebron.

Mideast violence that has persisted for two years shows no signs of abating, despite efforts by the United States, Europe and others to mediate a truce.

Soldiers tried to arrest Tarek Zaghal, a leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade militia, wounding him as he tried to escape. He later died of his wounds, Palestinians said. The Al Aqsa group is linked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s Fatah movement.

Near Tulkarem, two Palestinians were killed when their car crashed after running an Israeli army roadblock, the Israeli military said. The military statement said soldiers opened fire after the car tried to run them over.

Israel is maintaining control of most of the main West Bank population centers after an incursion in mid-June, a response to Palestinian suicide bomb attacks inside Israel. Curfews are in force much of the time, confining hundreds of thousands of people to their homes.

Palestinians said a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed yesterday when he climbed on top of an Israeli armored vehicle in the center of Tulkarem. The military said soldiers shot at a Palestinian who threw a firebomb at a tank, endangering soldiers.

Another Palestinian, a night watchman, was shot dead at his post in front of a building, Palestinians said.

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