With Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declaring Israel at war and Yasser Arafat "an enemy," forces of the Jewish state widened their offensive in the West Bank. Israel's military chief said the operation would be lengthy, with 20,000 reservists ordered to active duty. Troops not only were building a dirt embankment around Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah, but also were seen in Bethlehem and nearby villages. Palestinians said tanks had moved into Tulkarem as well. Meanwhile, Israeli positions along the northern border with Lebanon came under machine-gun fire, and Sharon's spokes-man said the Iranian- and Syrian-backed Hizbullah move- ment was trying to "open a second front ... to prove its solidarity with the Palestinians." He said the attack "will not go unanswered." (Stories, pages 1, 6, 7; editorial, page 8.)

In related developments:

• Masked Palestinian gunmen broke into a West Bank security building and killed eight men who were awaiting trial for alleged collaboration with Israel. Three others were found dead elsewhere in the West Bank for the same reason.

• Violent anti-Israel protests were dispersed by police in Cairo and in Jordan. Similar demonstrations were held in Lebanon and in Libya, whose leader, Muammar Qaddafi, himself was at the head. Iraq called on other Arab states to impose an embargo on oil sales to Israel and the US. In Turkey, Israel's closest friend in the Islamic world, Foreign Minister Ismail Cem scolded the Jewish state for "infringing on the human rights" of Arafat.

• For now, Jordan will not cut diplomatic relations with Israel, a senior government official said, despite heavy pressure from other Arab states to do so.

• Suspicion fell on Muslims of North African origin for the destruction of a synagogue in Marseilles, France – the fifth anti-Semitic attack in that country since Friday. In neighboring Belgium, unknown assailants firebombed another synagogue, causing damage but no injuries.

The political party of controversial President Leonid Kuchma was headed for a third-place finish as vote-counting from Sunday's parliamentary election in Ukraine neared completion. But reports of irregularities were rampant. Kuchma's For United Ukraine bloc had less than 13 percent of the vote, to 23 percent for the reformist Our Ukraine movement and 20 percent for the Communist Party. The voting was seen as a referendum on Kuchma's eight-year rule, which has been hobbled by allegations of scandal and corruption.

Fuel supplies were all but unobtainable in Madagascar's capital after supporters of incumbent President Didier Ratsiraka blew up two more bridges, cutting it off from the main seaports. A third bridge was dynamited last Friday. The Indian Ocean nation is deeply divided by the dispute between Ratsiraka and Antananarivo Mayor Marc Ravalomanana over which of them won last December's election. Ravalomanana declared himself president in February and set up a rival government, but he appears not to command much support outside the capital.

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