Palestinians threw a number of firebombs yesterday evening at a Ramallah branch of the British Middle East Bank. Palestinian sources reported anonymous assailants targeted the bank apparently in protest against British support for the use of military force in Iraq.

Fatah's military wing - the Aksa Martyrs Brigades - claimed responsibility for yesterday afternoon's attack in which an Israeli motorist was ambushed and shot to death near the Nizlat Zayid village in the northern West Bank.

Fatah also said its armed resistance against Israel will continue in the West Bank.

Palestinian Authority security forces yesterday shut down the Gaza Strip office of the A-Risala weekly newspaper, identified with Hamas. According to Palestinian sources, the Palestinian Preventive Security force in Gaza informed newspaper publishers they were being shut down.

The PA shut down A-Risala for the first time during the intifada last year. The newspaper was permitted to reopen just several months ago.

IDF troops captured two Palestinians yesterday who threw firebombs at an Israeli vehicle traveling adjacent to the Maccabim settlement. A nearby artillery force gave chase near Highway 443, the secondary road connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

The two men were captured in the Palestinian village of Beit Sira, located in the northern Ayalon Valley on the Ramallah-Latrun road. There were no casualties in the incident and no damage was caused.

were several additional shooting attacks in the West Bank, none of which resulted in Israeli casualties. In operations across the West Bank, a total of 32 Palestinians suspected of involvement in terror activities, were detained by IDF troops. Arrests were made in the Jenin, Qalqiliyah and Tul Karm regions. In Rafah, troops arrested five Palestinians.

The defense establishment decided yesterday to extend the closure on the territories until Saturday night at least. The territories were hit with a full closure last Saturday, ahead of the Purim celebrations on Tuesday. The decision to extend the closure was taken due to the imminent U.S. assault on Iraq, and the IDF's apprehension that Palestinian groups would use the events to launch renewed terror attacks. Defense sources said yesterday that they have around 60 warnings of planned terror attacks, both in the territories and inside Israel.