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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Explosion At Jerusalem Supermarket

Aired March 29, 2002 - 06:08   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: We have breaking news to report to you right now. We are talking about the unrest in the Middle East. Well, there is more unrest. We are hearing of an explosion at a shopping center in Jerusalem.

Our Ben Wedeman is standing by live there now. What can you tell us about this, Ben?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Carol, this just a little while ago. Apparently, there was an explosion at a supermarket here in Jerusalem. The details are only just coming in, but according to reports on the media and from the police, tens of people have been wounded. There are reports of one body being found at this Jerusalem supermarket, but that is about the sum total of the details we have at this point.

Also in Jerusalem, there have been clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli police. They were using stun grenades in these clashes in the old city of Jerusalem, apparently, in the area of the El-Aqsa Mosque. There are unconfirmed reports that Israeli forces have entered the area of the mosque itself.

Now, this follows an early-morning announcement by the Israeli government, by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, that as far as Israel is concerned, the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, is now an enemy of the state of Israel.

This morning, Israel launched an attack on the West Bank Palestinian town of Ramallah. At the moment the headquarters of the Palestinian leader in that city is surrounded by Israeli armor tanks, armored personnel carriers. Apparently, some of those forces have entered into the compound itself. We are told that the Palestinian leader is still alive and well and unharmed within the confines of his compound.

Now, at a press conference following that all-night cabinet meeting, the Israeli prime minister explained some of the reasons for Israel's operation.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ARIEL SHARON, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): Arafat has established a coalition of terrorism against Israel. He is an enemy, and at this stage, he will be isolated. The government has approved a call out of reservists in order to carry out this operation in order to allow the IDF to carry out continuous operations over a period of time and at the location of additional foci of terrorism.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

WEDEMAN: Now, the Palestinians have called upon their people to resist this Israeli operation, and at the same time, the U.S. special envoy for the Middle East, Anthony Zinni, remains in the area trying, hoping against hope to win some sort of cease-fire -- back to you.

COSTELLO: Ben Wedeman reporting live for us from Jerusalem. Again, there is an explosion at a supermarket there, and that's about all we know right now. Ben is going to go find out more about that, so he can bring us more information.

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