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Lebanon anger at Israeli offensive

Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri  

From CNN Beirut Bureau Chief Brent Sadler

BEIRUT, Lebanon (CNN) -- Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri has been urged to bring international pressure to bear on Israel in an attempt to stop its military offensive against Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah.

Lebanese government sources said Hariri expressed anger at the Israeli operation and vowed to take action.

Hariri promised to call Russian President Vladimir Putin, European heads of state, and U.S. President George Bush.

At about the same time, in a phone interview on Al Jazeera -- an Arabic language TV station -- Arafat acknowledged that an international appeal was under way.

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"I am in contact with all our brothers in the Arab and Islamic word, our friends in Europe and Russia," Arafat said, speaking from his Ramallah headquarters while Israel laid siege to the compound.

Arafat also told the station: "They either want to kill me, or capture me, or expel me.

"I hope I will be a martyr in the Holy Land. I have chosen this path and if I fall, one day a Palestinian child will raise the Palestinian flag above our mosques and churches." (Full story)

Following an all-night cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared Arafat an "enemy" and began a military operation to wipe Palestinian terrorism "everywhere it exists."

Israeli tanks and bulldozers have surrounded Arafat's Ramallah compound and have knocked down parts of the fences and walls that ring it. (Full story)




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