Arafat cornered by Israeli forces

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 30 Mar 2002 09:13:45 -0000

 Israeli offensive in Ramallah
Israeli tanks smashed their way into the compound

Israeli forces say they now control most of the West Bank headquarters
of the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, after an intensive military
operation in the area. 

Israel has warned that the Ramallah offensive is just the beginning of a
long campaign against Palestinian militants. 


The killing of Arafat would be the mother of all mistakes 

Nasser al-Kidwa
Palestinian UN envoy 
The assault began on Friday, a day which also saw a 16-year-old
Palestinian girl blow herself up in a Jewish neighbourhood of West
Jerusalem, killing two other people and injuring more than 20. 

The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting to discuss
the crisis, at which Secretary General Kofi Annan said he was deeply
alarmed by the escalation of violence. 

He called on the Israelis to halt their assault on the Palestinian
Authority. "Such use of force will bring neither peace nor security to
Israel," he said. 

He also condemned as morally repugnant the actions of Palestinian
suicide bombers. 

The chief Palestinian delegate at the meeting, Nasser al-Kidwa, said
that if Israel harmed Mr Arafat it would be making "the mother of all

His Israeli counterpart replied by accusing Mr Arafat of having no
intention of reaching a peaceful settlement. 

Heavy fighting 

After smashing in to Mr Arafat's Ramallah compound with tanks, Israeli
troops advanced from room to room, fighting Mr Arafat's bodyguards. 

At one stage, they entered Mr Arafat's offices. However, they have now
left the building and fighting is reported to have died down. 

 Yasser Arafat in his compound
Arafat remains defiant

But Mr Arafat's isolation is almost complete. Snipers are said to be
surrounding his offices and all power has been cut off. 

At least five Palestinians - including one of Mr Arafat's bodyguards -
are reported to have been killed and 30 wounded. More than 50 are said
to have been detained. 

Two Israeli soldiers have also died in the country's biggest offensive
against the Palestinian leader since his people began an uprising 18
months ago. 

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned that the campaign would last
for weeks, if not months. 

The offensive is not confined to Ramallah. Early on Saturday morning,
Israeli tanks also went into the Palestinian area of Beit Jala, near the
West Bank city of Bethlehem - where Christians are observing Easter

Arafat's safety 

The US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, has said that Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon has given him assurances that Israel will not seek
to kill or capture Mr Arafat. 

He added that while he understood the Israeli government's need to
respond, Mr Sharon should consider carefully the consequences of
Israel's actions. 

But the Palestinian leader scoffed at the assurances of his personal

 Israelis at the scene of a suicide bombing
Two Israelis died in the latest suicide bomb attack

"They are shelling us continuously," Mr Arafat said in a telephone
interview with CNN, during which machine-gun fire could be heard in the

Mr Arafat said his people would never give up their fight for an
independent state, and that he hoped the Israeli operation would make
him a martyr. 

In the latest Palestinian suicide attack, the female bomber struck at a
crowded shopping centre in the Kiryat Yovel neighbourhood of Jerusalem,
killing two people. 

The Friday attack was claimed by the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a militant
group linked to Mr Arafat's Fatah movement. 

Another suicide bomb attack, which killed 20 Israelis on Wednesday
night, led to the latest Israeli retaliatory action. 

At a cabinet meeting to decide Israel's response, Mr Arafat was declared
an enemy.

Source: BBC online

You can choose whether you prefer to receive regular emails or a weekly
digest by visiting
You can subscribe by sending an email to request@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with
the word "subscribe" (without quotes) in the subject line, or by
visiting <> 
You can unsubscribe by sending an email to request@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with
the word "unsubscribe" (without quotes) in the subject line, or by
visiting <> 
You are welcome to submit any relevant news story to
For regular Islamic cultural articles by email, send email to

JPEG image

GIF image

GIF image

GIF image

JPEG image

JPEG image

Other related posts:

  • » Arafat cornered by Israeli forces