In reply to the terrorist act in Netania, Israeli troops have entered the Palestinian Autonomy’s territory. About 30 Israeli tanks entered the city of Ramallah, on the West Bank of Jordan River, where headquarters of Palestinian leader, Yasir Arafat is situated. According to Israeli Prime-Minister Ariel Sharon, the raid on Yasir Arafat’s headquarters is the beginning of a wide-ranging offensive against Palestinians. According to Sharon, Arafat is now considered to be Israel’s enemy, and Israelis’ aim is to completely isolate him. At the press-conference this Friday, Sharon said that Israel had offered its hand to Palestinians, though they replied with terror. According to the Palestinian leader’s adviser, Arafat’s guard started to fight with Israeli troops; three Palestinians were wounded. Israelis took down a wall around Arafat’s headquarters. According to latest reports, at the moment, Israeli Special Force is attacking Yasir Arafat’s residence. Palestinians have built barricades on every floor and desperately resist the attack. Today, in his interview to Al-Jazeera Quatar TV channel, the Palestinian leader said that “Israelis want take me prison, expatriate or arrest me, though I will be shahir.” “We have chosen the way of death, though our children without fail will raise the flag of Palestine over Jerusalem!” – Arafat said. According to him, he is ready to die a martyr death, though he will not be captive, exile or prisoner, as Israel wants. Yasir Araft’s fate is hard to forecast: will he be killed in the attack or will he commit suicide, as he promised? Anyway, today’s action is bankruptcy of all peaceful initiatives in the Middle East. US emissary Anthony Zinni could pack his suitcases, because he has nothing to do here. Living or dead, Arafat will anyway be the symbol of fight for freedom. Militarized Hamas group, which organized the explosion in Netania, promised to continue its fight against Israel, while it is not the only group carrying out armed fight with Israel. Since that very moment, when the Israely government declared additional mobilization of reservists, it was clear that action was not spontaneous. According to some observers, Israeli militaries prepare themselves for a long-time opposition. Dmitry Litvinovich PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://www.pravda.ru/main/2002/03/29/38995.html
The remarks from the Pope came as "a very strong step towards degradation," "given the rather massive nature of homosexuality" among the Catholic clergy.