Israeli Army Launches Operation To Destroy Positions Of Palestinian Armed Formations

In the North of the Gaza Strip the Israeli army has launched an operation to destroy the positions of the Palestinian armed formations. With that in view, Israeli military units have again entered, under cover of tanks, the so-called "Zone A", which, according to the Norwegian agreements, are under full control of the Palestinian National Authority. The operation was launched in reply to Tuesday evening's attack by a group of Palestinians on the Jewish settlement of Elei-Sinai in the north of the Gaza Strip. In connection with the attack, head of the Israeli government Ariel Sharon last night convened an urgent meeting of the "narrow" Cabinet of Ministers on political and security issues. It is reported that the meeting adopted the decision on granting to the army wider powers in the struggle against terrorism and, in particular, on resuming physical destruction of Palestinian commanders who, according to the information of the Israelis, are involved in terrorist activities. Some observers believe that such decisions could actually signify Israel's renouncing the ceasefire agreement with the Palestinians that was reached a week ago during a meeting between Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and head of the Palestinian National Authority Yasser Arafat.

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