JERUSALEM — Israeli troops shot and killed four Palestinians in the occupied Gaza Strip on Monday when their car ran a military roadblock, the army and Arab reports said.
Two were identified as Hani Mahmud Muamar and Ahed Saalim Habid, both 24 and both members of the Fatah Hawks vigilante group, affiliated with the Palestine Liberation Organization.
An Arab report said Habid was an important leader of the Hawks, and the two unidentified men also belonged to the group.
Paramilitary police motioned to the car to stop at a roadblock near the El Bureij refugee camp, but the driver tried to run over a police officer and troops fired, killing all four occupants, the army said.
Meanwhile, in Washington, a Clinton Administration official said Monday the President may invite Arab and Israeli peace negotiators to the White House next week.
The invitation would underscore the new Administration's more active role in the talks, which have progressed in fits and starts since they were launched by the George Bush Administration in October, 1991.
The talks resumed last week after a four-month break.
Israelis and Palestinians both reported some progress Monday after meeting in three separate working groups to discuss the nature of self-rule for the 1.7 million Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
The sides agreed to try to formulate a joint declaration of principles laying out the length of the self-rule period, its aim, the responsibility of the governing body and the type and timing of elections to that body, participants said.
But in negotiations with Syria, the sides bogged down on the question that has bedeviled them from the start: Will Israel agree to give back the Golan Heights and will Syria agree to a full peace?