On Thursday, Israel severed all contacts with Palestinian National Authority leader Yasser Arafat and declared him responsible for Wednesday terrorist acts against Israelis. United States' NBC TV channel cited a high-ranking source in the Israeli premier's administration as saying that the cabinet of ministers blamed the terrorist acts on Arafat and ruled that, from this moment on, the PNA leader "bears no relationship to the State of Israel." According to NBC's source, the cabinet of ministers gave its OK to a large-scale military operation aiming to "arrest suspects and confiscate weapons" in Gaza and the West Bank. The decision followed the PNA administration's announcement about the closing down of Palestinian extremist organisations Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
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