Ariel, West Bank A Palestinian attacker killed three Israeli soldiers and himself Sunday when his bomb detonated in a struggle with soldiers at a gas station just outside the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ariel.
The assailant came from the nearby city of Nablus a city kept by Israel's military under strict curfew for months in a bid to stop Palestinian attackers from slipping out and reaching Israeli targets.
In Nablus, Israeli troops shot dead two armed Palestinians several hours after the bomb attack, though the two sides disagreed on the circumstances. The army said soldiers were attempting to make arrests when they came under fire and shot back, killing the pair. Palestinian witnesses said soldiers killed the two men, then fled in an unmarked van.
The violence came as the Israelis and Palestinians tried to resolve their own political dramas.
The Palestinian legislature, which effectively forced Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to dissolve his Cabinet on Sept. 11, is to meet today in the West Bank city of Ramallah and decide whether to approve the new proposed Cabinet.
On the Israeli side, a government coalition crisis was brewing. Israel's moderate Labor Party has threatened to reject the government's budget proposal and pull out of the coalition headed by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Such a move could lead to the coalition's collapse.