Jerusalem — Responding to the latest suicide bombing, the Israeli military on Friday occupied Palestinian-controlled land on the outskirts of the West Bank cities of Jenin and Nablus, Israeli radio and a military source said.
The source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the troops did not enter either city. The radio said Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who is visiting the United States, ordered the military moves.
The Palestinian leadership accused Israel of escalating the conflict to sabotage the ongoing U.S. peace mission.
The broadcast quoted aides traveling with Sharon as saying he had informed a U.S. special Mideast envoy of the order.
Retired Marine Corps Gen. Anthony Zinni, the envoy, said his peace mission would not be spoiled by increasing violence and threats by militants.
Zinni said he would stay "as long as it takes." He made the pledge a day after an Islamic militant blew himself up on a bus in northern Israel, killing himself and three passengers.
In all, 14 have died since Zinni's arrival Monday.