Several Israeli tanks Friday afternoon broke into Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's headquarters in the West Bank town of Ramallah in preparation for isolating him, Palestinian security sources said.
The sources said that four tanks entered into the compound whereArafat's offices are, and were stationed in the yard, while fierce gunbattles erupted between Arafat's bodyguards and Israeli troops.
Before entering into the compound, the tanks demolished part of the fence around the compound and fired several shells at offices next door to where Arafat is sitting, said the sources.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, an aide to Arafat, said earlier Friday that Arafat is in good health and he is sitting among Palestinian officials and his bodyguards.
Abu Rudeineh said that Arafat was unhurt after Israeli tanks shelled Arafat's compound and Israeli infantry troops and tanks demolished two parts of the fence around his offices.
"The situation here at the President's office is very dangerous and risky," Abu Rudeineh told reporters. "He (Arafat) is fine, and there are attempts from time to time to break into the main office where the president sits."
He said that dozens of Arafat's bodyguards sitting in the compound were defending Arafat's main offices, adding the fierce gunbattles were taking place in and around Arafat's compound.
Abu Rudeineh warned Israel of hurting Arafat and intensifying its offensive against his headquarters, adding that the United States should save the situation "before the interests of everybodywould be in danger."