| The Extension of the TIPH Mandate – June 1998|
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
Today (30 June), Israel Foreign Ministry Director-General Eytan Bentsur and Palestinian Authority representative Dr. Saeb Erakat signed a document extending the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) for a period of six months. The signing ceremony took place at the Laromme Hotel in Jerusalem, and was attended by representatives of the Norwegian government.
The meeting between Mr. Bentsur and Dr. Erakat was the first such high-level session between Israel and the Palestinian Authority since the meeting between Dr. Erakat and Israeli Cabinet Secretary Dani Naveh about a month ago.
After the ceremony, the two enjoyed a lunch together, which was conducted in a open and cordial atmosphere. Dr. Erakat stated that every effort must be made in order to continue the peace process, since both Israel and the Palestinians have no other choice. Mr. Bentsur replied that he is encouraged by Dr. Erakat’s attitude, and stressed that the parties must not lose sight of their general direction and forget the crucial importance of the peace process, even if difficulties are encountered when finalizing the various details within the framework of the agreements.
At the conclusion of their meeting, Dr. Erakat invited Mr. Bentsur to visit with him in Jericho.