JERUSALEM - Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants skirmished in the roiling streets of the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Saturday, leaving four Palestinians dead and more than 100 injured. Israel also sharply criticized Yasser Arafat, saying the Palestinian leader ''brought down'' the peace process.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians took to the streets Saturday in marches and funeral processions, with some going as far as torching the photos of moderate Arab leaders who maintain contacts with Israel and the United States.
The unrest in Palestinian cities came as Arab leaders, opening a summit in neighboring Egypt, unanimously condemned Israel for more than three weeks of violence that have left 117 dead and more than 2,000 wounded, most of them Palestinians.
Arafat told the Cairo summit that despite ''the worst kinds of mass killings ... our choice is the choice of permanent, just and comprehensive peace.''
Still, Israeli government spokesman Nachman Shai called Arafat's speech ''very extreme.''
''For the past seven years, he was the partner for peace,'' Shai said in an interview with The Associated Press. ''We were absolutely sure and convinced he was going to make peace with us. But in a few weeks, everything collapsed, everything was brought down by him.''
A cease-fire mediated by President Clinton on Tuesday appeared to have disintegrated.
After the Arab summit ends Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak will decide whether to call a ''time-out'' and rethink Israel's policy on the peace talks, his top priority.
''Arafat changed his mind. I don't know why,'' said Shai. ''Maybe we should wait now for a while.''
The Israeli government said it may complete its assessment on ''unilateral separation'' from the Palestinians. In such a scenario, Israel would draw a fortified border with the Palestinians without waiting for a peace agreement.
Ziad Abu Zayyad, a prominent Palestinian politician, said Barak had not made any real progress toward a political settlement, and a formal suspension of the peace process would have little meaning. ''It's frozen already.''
Confrontation, not peace talks, will bring Palestinian independence, said Amar Hassan, 28, a Palestinian taking part in a massive West Bank funeral march.
''We should stop throwing stones,'' Hassan said. ''We should learn how to shoot, how to plant explosives near the roads.''
Some 20,000 mourners marched in the funeral procession led by masked militiamen in Nablus, where four Palestinian activists were shot dead a day earlier.
''Oh Arabs, pay attention: the Palestinians are getting killed,'' the crowd chanted, many carrying the flags of Arab countries.
In a rare display of hostility toward moderate Arab leaders, Palestinian protesters in Hebron burned photos of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Jordan's King Abdullah II, Morocco's King Mohammed VI and Saudi Arabia's King Fahd.
Those Arab leaders are all strong supporters of the Palestinians, but Jordan and Egypt also have diplomatic relations with Israel and Morocco and Saudi Arabia have close ties with the United States, Israel's leading ally.
''Mubarak, Abdullah and King Mohammed are traitors employed by the CIA,'' read one banner.
Marwan Barghouti, a prominent member of Arafat's Fatah movement, predicted that the Palestinians would continue taking to the streets.
''This intefadeh (uprising) will continue until the end of the occupation,'' Barghouti said.
A stone-throwing confrontation Saturday on the main street of Hebron in the West Bank escalated into an exchange of gunfire, witnesses said. Elsewhere, a taxi driver was fatally shot in the head, doctors said.
But the Israeli army said it did not use any live fire Saturday in Hebron, the scene of almost daily clashes.
In the Gaza Strip, 16-year-old Omar al-Bihassi was shot dead in a confrontation near the town of Khan Yunis. ''My son, my son. They killed my son,'' wailed the boy's mother, Widad, at his funeral Saturday.
A rock-throwing clash also broke out near the Erez crossing with Israel, leaving at least 59 Palestinians injured, said Dr. Mouauia Hassina at the Shifa Hospital.
Heavy shooting in the West Bank town of Ramallah, another persistent trouble spot, killed one Palestinian and 45 injured others.
A fourth Palestinian died after being shot in the West Bank town of Jenin, doctors said.
Saturday's violence came on the heels of heavy fighting that left nine Palestinians dead and 103 injured Friday, the deadliest day in two weeks.
In Jerusalem, about 6,000 settlers demonstrating outside Barak's official residence in Jerusalem urged him to use more force against the Palestinians.
''He shouldn't wait, he should respond ... to make the Palestinians pay a very painful price,'' settler leader Shlomo Filber told Channel Two TV.
In the Israeli coastal city of Haifa, thousands of Jews and Arab Israelis rallied for an end to the clashes with signs reading ''No more violence.''