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Israel Launches Military Operations in West Bank

Israel's Army carried out military operations against Palestinian militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Thursday, fulfilling a pledge made by Israel's Prime Minister to retaliate for a suicide bombing on Wednesday that killed five Israelis.

Israeli troops entered the town of Jenin, in the West Bank, to arrest a local leader of Islamic Jihad, the group that claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing in Hadera. Earlier Thursday, Israeli jets attacked Palestinian militant positions in the Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon vowed on Thursday to wage a continuous war against the militants.

Mr. Sharon says he believes that unfortunately the Palestinian Authority had not taken serious steps to combat terrorism.

Mr. Sharon says he has also ruled out talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas until Mr. Abbas takes serious action against armed groups. Mr. Abbas has condemned the suicide attack, but says Israeli incursions into Palestinian territory undermine his authority.