Four Israeli Settlers Killed -
UN Team Poised
By Alistair Lyon

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Gunmen killed four people in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank on Saturday in the first such attack since Israel launched a four-week-old military sweep through Palestinian-ruled cities.
A U.N. mission to find out what happened during Israel's three-week military operation in the Jenin refugee camp waited in Geneva for a green light to depart for the region.
U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan agreed to hold the team back at the request of Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to give the Israeli cabinet time to discuss the fact-finding mission at its Sunday morning meeting, a U.N. official said.
The Israeli army said four people had been killed and six wounded, one of them severely, in the attack by one or two gunmen on Adora, a few kilometers (miles) west of the divided city of Hebron. The army had earlier put the death toll at five.
The attack came a day after President Bush insisted Israel must end its military offensive "now," after another Israeli raid defied his earlier demands.
"The attack this morning against Israeli citizens in the West Bank proves that terror has not yet been eradicated," Israeli government spokesman Aryeh Mekel said.
There was no immediate Palestinian comment.
Hebron was the only big West Bank city not reoccupied in Israel's offensive, perhaps because the army feared a full-scale assault would endanger about 400 Jewish settlers living in heavily guarded enclaves among 120,000 Palestinians.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon unleashed the West Bank campaign on March 29 after suicide attacks killed scores of Israelis. Israel says many of the attackers came from the Jenin refugee camp, scene of the fiercest fighting in the offensive.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack on Adora and the assailants appeared to have escaped.
"Everything here is confusion," Adora resident Rut Bar Yosef told Israel radio. "Everyone is in shock, not absorbing it."
In Bethlehem, an Israeli sniper wounded a Palestinian in the besieged Church of the Nativity amid an apparent setback in efforts to resolve the 24-day-old standoffs peacefully.
"The man was messing with some cables near the door of the church and he was armed so we fired on him. He will be taken by ambulance for medical treatment," a military source said.
Bethlehem lawmaker Salah Taamari consulted Yasser Arafat at the besieged Palestinian president's Ramallah compound on talks with Israel aimed at ending the church stalemate.
But a presidential adviser, Nabil Abu Rdainah, said later that Arafat had given Taamari no instructions.
About 200 demonstrators marched toward Arafat's compound, vowing to stage similar protests every day until the Ramallah siege is lifted. Israeli troops dispersed them with tear gas.
Gunfire has often erupted around the Bethlehem church since Palestinian fighters took refuge there on April 2.
Israel says militants inside are holding hostage scores of civilians, including clergymen and nuns. Palestinians deny anyone is being held at the shrine against their will.
Israel has vowed to keep up its siege until the militants surrender for trial or exile. Palestinians reject these terms.
A Palestinian teenager previously in the church said gunmen inside were willing to be exiled, but only if Arafat agreed.
"There was a discussion among everyone. They all proposed that seven or eight of the men be deported so that the 200 others inside could be saved," Fouad Lahaam, 19, told Reuters.
"The armed men were willing as long as the president agrees," said Lahaam, who was allowed to leave the church this week, along with eight other youths, when the bodies of two Palestinians shot dead by Israeli troops were evacuated.
Israel first accepted the U.N. mission, then threatened to block it, apparently fearing it would find itself in the dock. Palestinians say this shows Israel has something to hide.
Beefed up by security advisers at Israel's behest, the U.N. team had been due to leave Geneva earlier in the week. Israel has sought assurances that its mandate will be limited to Jenin and that it would not expose Israeli soldiers to prosecution.
Palestinians say hundreds of civilians may have died in the Jenin camp, many in homes flattened by tank fire and bulldozers.
Israel says 48 people, mostly fighters, were killed while it lost 23 soldiers fighting what it calls "a nest of terror."
The Islamic Hamas group's political leader in the Jenin camp resurfaced after weeks in hiding, vowing to pursue the fight against Israel. "If the Israelis believe they have eradicated the infrastructure of resistance here, they are wrong. Despite all our losses, it will rise again from these ashes stronger than before," Jamal Abdul Salam al-Heija told Reuters.
Annan's team is led by former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari and includes Cornelio Sommaruga, Swiss ex-president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, and Sadako Ogata of Japan, former U.N. high commissioner for refugees.
In Qalqilya, about 10,000 Palestinians marched in the funeral of Raed Nazzal, local leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who was killed by Israeli troops during a raid on the West Bank town on Friday.
Witnesses said mourners shouted "Revenge, Revenge" as militants fired assault rifles into the air.
Palestinian officials said the army had returned the body of Mohammed al-Dibis, 19, shot near a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip. The circumstances of his death were not clear.
At least 1,314 Palestinians and 458 Israelis have been killed in the 19-month-old Palestinian uprising against occupation which erupted after Sharon, then opposition leader, visited a Jerusalem shrine holy to Muslims and Jews.

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