Eighty isolates of Escherichia coli were collected in Northern Palestine throughout the 1996 to 2000 period from hospitalized patients with urinary tract infections (UTIs). Resistance rates were ampicillin, 65%; co-trimoxazole, 55%; cefuroxime, 10%; cefotaxime, 7.5%; ceftazidime, 2.5%; ciprofloxacin, 12.5%; gentamicin, 6.25% and amikacin, 1.25%. No imipenem-resistant isolates were identified. To determine whether this was due to intra-hospital transmission of resistant strains, clonal structure of 10 multiple-resistant isolates was examined by genomic DNA fingerprinting by enterobacterial repetitive intergenic concensus-polymerase chain reaction (ERICPCR) and all were clonally distinct. Thus, these strains are likely resistant due to convergent acquisition of resistance determinants by genetically unrelated uropathogenic strains rather than epidemic spread of resistant isolates.