The Israeli army moved to put into effect yesterday what looks like the final stage of a plan to destroy Yasser Arafat politically, blowing up all the buildings in his Ramallah headquarters except his own forlorn offices.
Mr Arafat's quarters were shaken to their foundations as Israeli sappers demolished three buildings and 11 containers and prefabs used by his guards.
When the clouds of dust cleared, the buildings, pathetically sandbagged at the windows and doors, were left standing amid the rubble.
Last night Israeli armoured bulldozers tore down a bridge linking Mr Arafat's office to a conference hall used as quarters by his guards. This confined Mr Arafat, his close aides and, according to the Israelis, some 20 wanted men, to a single building.