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Sunday, 31 March, 2002, 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
Sharon vows to crush 'Arafat terror'
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Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has vowed to uproot what he called the "terrorist infrastructure" run by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

In a televised address to the nation, Mr Sharon described Mr Arafat as the head of a "coalition of terror," who was directing terror attacks against Israeli citizens.

He said Israel was "at war" and would strike relentlessly at Palestinian militants. Only then would a ceasefire be possible.

Mr Sharon described Mr Arafat as the "enemy of the free world".

He was speaking on the day that two suicide attacks in Israel left 16 people dead and more than 30 wounded.

He said the Israeli Government had decided on a campaign of wide-ranging attacks to defeat terrorism, which was the only way to achieve a ceasefire.

Mr Sharon said Israel was at a crucial point in its existence.

"We have known worse situations and we will prevail," he said.

Mr Sharon convened his cabinet on Sunday to discuss the military operation which has cornered Mr Arafat inside his Ramallah headquarters.

In his last address, on Friday, Mr Sharon blamed Mr Arafat for a series of militant attacks and ordered the Israeli army to storm his headquarters.

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Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
"We must fight terrorism"
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