Showdown

AFTER A SAVAGE SPASM OF TERROR, SHARON AND ARAFAT FACE OFF IN A COLD TEST OF WILLS

Yasser Arafat likes his helicopters. Real leaders, military leaders especially, get around by helicopter, and nothing suited the style of the khaki-clad Palestinian boss better than dropping in and out of places with a backdrop of rotors loudly beating, whipping up the air. Choppering between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Arafat's two disconnected realms, had the added advantage of sparing the Palestinian leader the humiliation of passing through Israeli checkpoints on the ground below.

But the three Soviet-made Mi8s that were parked at Arafat's compound in the Gaza Strip are in pieces now, destroyed by Israeli missiles in retaliation...

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