FM Levy Meets with Delegation of Turkish Foreign and Defense Committees

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
June 20, 2000

Foreign Minister Levy revealed today that over the last few days, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has released from prison very dangerous people who carried out terrorist attacks against Israel. Foreign Minister Levy disclosed this information at the beginning of his meeting with a delegation of the Turkish Foreign and Defense Committees. The Foreign Minister stated that this was "a very grave phenomenon. While the Palestinian Authority demands that we release prisoners with blood on their hands, it releases dangerous terrorists."

Foreign Minister Levy referred also to the statement by PA Justice Minister Fraih Abu Meddain concerning the readiness of the Palestinian Authority to sacrifice thousands of people in the case of a military confrontation with Israel.

Minister Levy stated that a person who says that he is ready to sacrifice thousands of people shows disregard for human life. "One must not say such things. It is the duty of leaders to prevent the loss of life. Israel will not succumb in the face of such threats and declarations. We do not want confrontation." Levy added, "In the event of a confrontation, we will take the necessary steps."

Foreign Minister Levy stated in the meeting that "peace means firstly an end to thoughts of violence and force, and the Palestinians have yet to internalize this." The Minister said that Israel wishes to reach an agreement by the end of this year.

Foreign Minister Levy also welcomed the proposal to import water from Turkey, and said that "We reached an understanding and agreements with the Turkish authorities in this matter during my visit to Turkey. I raised the matter officially before the Israeli government and I was criticized for doing so – however, it is better late than never."

During the meeting, the Minister expressed his satisfaction regarding the economic and political cooperation between the two countries.