Israel, Palestinians wage fierce West Bank battle


The Israeli army briefly entered a Palestinian-ruled area of the West Bank city of Ramallah today to respond to fire by Palestinian gunmen, the army said in a statement.

The army said it had briefly entered a Palestinian-ruled area of the city with a tank and an armoured personnel carrier to respond to the Palestinian fire.

The fighting erupted just before Israeli police stormed a mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, where Jews commemorated the anniversary of the destruction of the two biblical temples with a day of fast and worship at the Western Wall.

Hundreds of police entered the site where a Palestinian uprising erupted 10 months ago after Palestinians threw stones from the Temple Mount, sacred to Muslims as al-Haram alSharif, on to Jewish worshippers below.

Israeli-Palestinian violence has raged virtually without stopping since the uprising started last September after peace talks stalled. Nearly 500 Palestinians and more than 100 Israelis have been killed.