Another "day of rage" in the Middle East

Palestinians planned a second straight "day of rage" on Saturday and funerals for men they regard as martyrs after the strongest spasm of Israeli-Palestinian violence in weeks. Israel blockaded all West Bank cities after seven Palestinians and three Israelis were killed on Friday on the anniversary of the start of the previous Palestinian uprising, which began in 1987 and ended in 1993. The volatile combination of another day of rage declared by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction and Islamic groups, along with funerals for many of Friday's dead, threatened to ignite more violence after a lull earlier in the week. The Palestinian cabinet, at its weekly meeting, said Israel aimed to pursue a military solution which threatened not only the Palestinian people but also regional and international stability. The death toll has reached 308 after 10 weeks of violent confrontation, according to an unofficial Reuters tally. Most of the dead were Palestinians. Thirty-eight Israeli soldiers and civilians have also been killed, as well as 13 Israeli Arabs, Reuters reports.

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