One a day of high tension and drama, Israel on Friday launched one of the deadliest offensive against Palestinian Liberation Organisation chairman Yasser Arafat after declaring him an "enemy".
Israeli tanks smashed through the perimeter of the compound in Ramallah where Arafat had been confined for months. The Palestinian leader's compound was surrounded by 20 tanks while 50 more tanks were on their way to the city where heavy clashes had erupted.
A bulldozer smashed the three-storey Palestinian headquarters' main gate, while heavy firing left one Palestinian dead and 22 others wounded, sources said, adding five Israelis were also injured.
Arafat told Al Jazeera TV channel from Ramallah: "They either want to kill me, 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," he said.
"They are firing directly at Arafat's office. They are targeting him. His life is in danger. The situation is very, very dangerous," Palestinian Information Minister Abdul Abid Rabbo was quoted as saying.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said the government was calling up 20,000 reservists to put an end to Palestinian attacks.
"Arafat has established a coalition of terrorism against Israel. He is an enemy and at this stage will be isolated," he said after a meeting of the cabinet.
Islamic group Hamas said various Islamic and nationalist Palestinian factions had decided to "unite to defend the Palestinian people in the West Bank and the Gaza strip".
Israeli police stormed Jerusalem's Al Aqsa mosque complex, one of the holiest Muslim places in the world, after Arab youths threw rocks at Jewish worshippers assembled at the Wailing Wall below.
The police entered the Temple Mount and used stun grenades to disperse the youths.
Meanwhile, a 16-year old Palestinian suicide bomber detonated herself in front of a shopping mall in Kiryat Yovel in west Jerusalem. Unconfirmed reports said at least two people were killed in addition to the bomber and many were wounded.
The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack.
Tell us what you think of this report