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Intifada Violence in Territories Increased in March, Knesset Told

After a lull, intifada violence increased in the West Bank and Gaza Strip last month.

The number of assaults by Palestinians in the territories rose from 140 in February to 263 in March, Defense Minister Moshe Arens said in a report Tuesday to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Overall, disturbances increased from 1,641 in February to 2,973 in March, he said.

A senior Israel Defense Force officer told the committee the sharp increase could be attributed to improved weather, the end of the Moslem holy month of Ramadan and the failure of the peace process to proceed the way the Palestinians hoped it would.

About 1,396 Palestinians have been killed since the intifada began in December 1987. Israel claims that 656 of the deaths were at the hands of fellow Palestinians while Israeli security forces accounted for 740 fatalities.

Meanwhile, the IDF on Tuesday demolished the homes of two West Bank Arabs believed responsible for the murder of an Israeli, Shlomo Yihya, of Moshav Kadima last November.

The suspects were identified as Jamal Muhsein and Iyyad Hizran. Hizran is also accused of stabbing a border policeman near Tulkarm several days after Yihya was killed.

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