Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon addressed the nation saying that Israel is involved in a real war for the first time since Intifada is underway. Experts consider this attack to be the most powerful during the all period of Intifada.
The building of a transmission center for Voice of Palestine was destroyed during the attacks. Israel has accused this broadcasting center of Arafat's propaganda and spreading incitement.
Israeli warships fired at Palestinian security compounds along the Gaza Strip coastline and tanks rumbled into areas in southern and eastern Gaza. An Israeli warplanes fired several missiles at a Palestinian security building in Khan Younis. 4 people were killed in Gaza Strip, and some 30 were injured. Israeli helicopters also launched missiles at Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's West Bank headquarters.
The attacks were part of a stepped-up response by Israel's government which ordered more ferocious and varied retaliatory strikes against the Palestinians. Meanwhile, Palestinians arrested the Israeli Tourism Minister Rehavam Zeevi's killers, fulfilling the main condition set by Israel to allow Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to leave Ramallah, where he has been under virtual house arrest since early December.
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.