West Bank troop pullback closer after Washington talks

HEBRON, West Bank (AP) — Israeli and Palestinian leaders said Thursday that this week’s top-level talks in Washington have moved them closer to a West Bank troop pullback. Still, the threat of violence loomed large.
In the tensely divided West Bank city of Hebron, dozens of Palestinian teen-agers took turns lighting firebombs and hurling them Thursday at Israeli soldiers, who fired stun grenades and rubber bullets in response. Two Palestinians were injured. Palestinian policemen patrolling nearby mostly watched, making only halfhearted efforts to stop the youths.
Palestinian intelligence said Thursday they had arrested a Hamas activist and former chemistry student accused of stashing nearly a ton of explosives in his home next to Palestinian police headquarters on the outskirts of Hebron. The announcement of the arrest came three days after an explosives-laden car, apparently being prepared for a suicide attack by Hamas, prematurely blew up in the Palestinian city of Ramallah.
U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright is scheduled to return to the region next week for preparatory talks with Palestian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before they return to Washington in mid-October for another summit.