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Israeli Cabinet to meet amid calls for more violence
RAMALLAH, West Bank (CNN) -- The Israeli Cabinet will hold an emergency meeting Wednesday amid opposition calls for a stronger response to Palestinian violence and the threat of a new uprising.
The Fatah -- the core group within Yasser Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization -- has called on Palestinians to begin an uprising on Wednesday and drive Israelis from land occupied in the 1967 war.
The uprising would also mark the 12th anniversary of a declaration of Palestinian independence made in Algeria in 1988 when Arafat was still in exile.
In Khan Younis in Gaza, A 13-year-old Palestinian boy was shot to death and in Ramallah, a 14-year-old Palestinian was killed in clashes with Israeli forces. The Red Crescent said a second man was killed in Gaza and another in clashes in Nablus.
The new fatalities brought the death toll since September 28 to at least 231. Among them were 194 Palestinians, 13 Israeli Arabs and 24 Israeli Jews.
Funerals spark emotional scenes
Also on Tuesday, two funerals sparked emotional scenes in both Jewish and Palestinian communities.
The funeral cortege of Sarah Leisha, a Jewish settler and one of four Israelis killed in drive-by shootings on Monday, passed by Prime Minister Ehud Barak's office in a conscious political statement by settlers who blame Barak for being too weak toward the Palestinians.
Meanwhile in Gaza, at the funeral of two of the four Palestinian victims of Monday's violence, thousands of mourners chanted, "Revenge! Revenge!"
In the wake of Monday's death, opposition members of the Likud party called on Barak to take tougher military action against the Palestinians
"I would like to arrive at a situation where the Palestinians are begging the U.S. to stop the Israelis. Then let's come talk again," said Meir Sheetrit, a Likud member of the Israeli parliament.
Cabinet meeting to discuss response
Israeli Army Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz said the Cabinet meeting would discuss various responses to the recent violence, now in its seventh week.
"Different ways of acting will be presented. The army will act according to the decision of the Cabinet," he said.
Israeli security forces have imposed a tight blockade on all Palestinian towns in the West Bank, allowing only vehicles carrying food, medicine or humanitarian aid to pass.
Members of the government continue to blame Palestinian Authority President Arafat for the continuing violence.
"Who is behind it is Arafat. That's what's important because Arafat is controlling everything," said cabinet minister Benjamin Ben-Eliezer. "He controls the Hamas, he controls the Islamic Jihad. I don't imagine anything happening in the area without the blessing of Arafat."
But Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erakat, unable to leave his Jericho home because of the blockade, blamed Barak for furthering the conflict by cordoning off the Palestinian areas and keeping troops in the area.
"If he wants to see the future generations of Palestinians and Israelis living in peace, what are the forces doing in the West Bank and Gaza?" Erakat asked.
He said what needs to be done "immediately" is to "see that the international community will respond to [Palestinian Authority] President Arafat's request to see to it that we have international protection forces coming to the West Bank and Gaza.
Barak has rejected the Palestinian call for an outside security force saying that it would "reward" Palestinian violence.
Israel closes borders with Palestinian-ruled areas after more deaths
United Jewish Communities
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