- JERUSALEM (CNN) -- Israeli
military operations intensified Monday in the West Bank, with tanks and
troops on the move in three villages as Israel continued its effort to
uproot terror following a series of suicide bombings.
- The operation came after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel
Sharon promised Israelis he would tear out terrorists "by the roots."
- "Citizens of Israel, the state of Israel is in a
war -- a war against terrorism," Sharon said in a nationally televised
address Sunday. (Full story)
- Sharon's statements underscored the continuing violence
in the region, with the latest incident occurring Monday when a car exploded
at a busy Jerusalem intersection, killing the bomber and seriously injuring
an Israeli policeman. (Full story)
- The violence escalated last week, following a suicide
bombing at an Israeli seaside hotel during Passover. On Friday, the Israel
Defense Forces responded to that attack, targeting Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat's Ramallah compound.
- Additional attacks followed. At least 42 Israelis have
been killed and more than 100 wounded in terror attacks since the Passover
bombing Wednesday night.
- President Bush said the attacks are "simple terror"
and called on Arafat to "denounce the terrorist activities that are
taking place, the constant attacks." (Full story)
- Arafat, who remained pinned down in his West Bank compound,
has portrayed Israelis as the aggressors and called on "international
forces" to end "this military escalation against our people."
(Watch Arafat's comments, view a map of his compound.)
- CNN's Michael Holmes was able to enter Arafat's compound
Sunday when a group of about 40 Palestinian and international peace activists
marched past Israeli troops and tanks and walked into the building. Holmes
and other reporters went into the compound with the protesters. (Full story)
- The Jerusalem bombing Monday raised the count to seven
terror attacks -- six suicide bombings and one shooting -- in six days.
- The Israeli military offensive in Ramallah continued
Monday when an intense firefight erupted in the downtown area. Israeli
tanks and a vehicle-mounted anti-aircraft gun fired on an office building,
while Israeli helicopters circled the city. Palestinians responded with
automatic weapons fire.
- CNN personnel reported seeing one Palestinian and one
Israeli soldier injured.
- Elsewhere in Israel, said Palestinian sources, tanks
entered Qalqilya in the north, Bethlehem and Al-Khader, a Palestinian town
south of Bethlehem. An adviser to Sharon said that forces were "going
- The Israeli government closed the West Bank and ordered
international journalists to leave.
- Other developments
- * A suicide bomber set off a massive explosion Sunday
that ripped through a crowded restaurant in the northern port city of Haifa,
killing at least 14 people and wounding at least 33 others, Israeli authorities
said. Izzedine al Qassam, the armed wing of the Hamas militant group, claimed
responsibility. (Full story)
- * At least four people were wounded in a suicide bombing
Sunday near a medical clinic in the Jewish West Bank settlement of Efrat,
- Israeli troops exchange fire with Palestinians in downtown
- * Eight Israeli soldiers were injured -- one severely
-- while conducting house-to-house searches in Qalqilya. According to an
Israel Defense Forces source, they were wounded when an explosive device
went off in one of the houses being searched.
- * Five Western peace activists and a Palestinian cameraman
were wounded when they tried to block Israeli forces from entering a West
Bank refugee camp near Beit Jala, Palestinian sources said Monday. Israeli
authorities said they were checking the report.
- * The U.N. Security Council was expected to hold a closed-door
meeting Monday to discuss the Middle East situation. U.N. Secretary-General
Kofi Annan plans to brief the council on his visit to last week's Arab
League summit in Beirut, Lebanon.
- * In Tulkarem, Palestinian militants shot and killed
at least seven Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel, Palestinian
security sources said. The militants opened fire after bursting into a
building where Palestinian intelligence officers were holding suspected
collaborators. At least seven were killed, and others may have been wounded.
- * U.S. government officials at the U.S. Embassy in Tel
Aviv and American consulates in East and West Jerusalem were planning to
meet Monday to assess the security situation in Israel and the Palestinian
territories. The meeting also will determine what measures should be taken
to ensure the security of American personnel, their families and U.S. citizens
in the region, a senior State Department official said. (Full story)