|Arab Summit decisions distort reality, disregard Israel’s willingness to reach agreement and damage the efforts to achieve peace|
(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
At Camp David, Israel made courageous and far-reaching proposals in order to achieve a peace agreement with the Palestinians and an historic reconciliation with the Arab world. Regrettably, Arafat and the Palestinians did not respond in any way to these proposals. Their response was to launch the region into a whirlpool of violence and bloodshed.
The decisions of the Arab Summit in Cairo place responsibility for the recent events and the damage to the peace process exclusively on Israel, in a total distortion of reality and in utter disregard for Israeli’s far-reaching readiness to move towards an agreement.
Israel totally rejects the idea of the establishment of an international commission of inquiry under the aegis of the United Nations and the stationing of an international force into the territories. Israel believes that an appropriate mechanism for examining the recent events was established at Sharm el-Sheikh, with Arafat’s agreement. As for the Arab Summit’s demand for the establishment of an international tribunal to judge Israeli war criminals – this proposal is not worthy of comment.
Israel implemented UN Security Council Resolution 425 in full, and the line to which Israel withdrew was approved by the United Nations. Lebanon, for its part, has not fulfilled its obligations. We expect the international community to oblige Lebanon to implement the UN resolution, to extend its sovereignty and responsibility to southern Lebanon, to prevent acts of aggression against Israel, to bring about the immediate release of the Israelis who have been abducted, and to withdraw its backing of such terrorist organizations as Hizbullah.
The decisions of the Arab Summit which call for a freeze of the multilateral talks and of cooperation with Israel are disappointing and run counter to the decisions of the Madrid Conference which established two tracks – bilateral and multilateral – side by side. The existence of channels of communication between the parties is particularly important in times of tension, and we regret the decisions adopted by the Arab Summit against normalization.
These decisions do not assist but rather hinder the efforts to establish a comprehensive and lasting peace in our region. Nevertheless, Israel will not be dissuaded from its determination and will continue to strive to achieve real peace.