CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by Cabinet Secretariat) October 4, 1996

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Friday), 04.10.96:

1. The Cabinet received security briefings from the Defense Minister, the IDF Chief-of-Staff, head of the GSS, head of the IDF Intelligence Branch and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.

2. The prime minister reported on his discussions in Washington. He stated that our objective following the outbreak of the recent events was to bring about a cessation of the violence, and to ensure that political rewards would not be obtained through violence. The primary message which we presented in Washington was that all parties would come to the negotiations, acheiving political gains there, and not through violence.

The prime minister reported that during his discussions with President Clinton, he expressed the necessity of also considering security arrangements which are required as a result of the new situation. Together with this, he expressed our commitment to promote accelerated negotiations.

The discussion with Arafat dealt with all of the issues and questions which are on the agenda. The core of the discussion focused on the necessity of renouncing violence, and on additional security arrangements which are necessary in the field, especially in the wake of the recent violent events, as well as on continuing the process and the ways to advance it. The prime minister proposed that the talks be opened immediately, and that they be held intensively, without setting a target date.

Throughout the meetings which we held in Washington, we insisted on the need to stop the violence, and on the discussion of our security requirements, and these matters did find expression in the presidential statement. The prime minister made clear that we will ease the internal closure, in accordance with developments in the field.

Every negotiation is a matter of give-and-take, although in the past, negotiations, on the part of Israeli governments, have been solely give-and -give. Together with this, it was very important that political rewards not be obtained from the violence, a principle which has assisted, at present, in entering the negotiations in a better way. We intend to enter the negotiations in order to reach a conclusion.

3. Industry and Trade Minister Natan Sharansky, who accompanied the prime minister, reported on his discussions with officials of the State Department, opinion-makers and American Jewish leaders.

4. The government demonstrated, during the past week, its ability to stand in the face of pressures, which is an extremely important message.