PM Barak: Not yet possible to say that scale of violence has significantly declined
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Ehud Barak, at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 29.10.2000, briefed ministers on the situation in the territories. He noted the number of violent incidents with the Palestinians in recent days on the one hand and the IDF’s efforts to reduce the friction, on the other.
Prime Minister Barak emphasized that it is not yet possible to say that there has been a significant decline in the scale of the violence despite the fact that in certain places, the Palestinian police has worked to reduce the scale of the demonstrations opposite IDF forces. At the same time, the Prime Minister stressed that there is still a high number of shooting incidents and added that the IDF continues to be prepared to respond and act wherever necessary.
Prime Minister Barak said that he views the murder of an Israeli citizen in Beituniya with great severity and added that the circumstances of the incident are still under investigation.
In the diplomatic sphere, Prime Minister Barak remarked that he still hopes that it will be possible to implement the Sharm understandings and noted US and Egyptian activity in this area. The Prime Minister added that upon the achievement of the first and most important of the Sharm understandings – a decline in the violence – a fact-finding committee under American leadership will be established, and it is reasonable to assume that President Clinton will meet separately with the Israeli Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority. The Prime Minister noted that he has yet to receive an invitation to such a meeting and added that in any case, no date has been set.
Prime Minister Barak said that there is considerable understanding in the international community that the tangible cause for the outbreak of the violence lays with the Palestinian side and added that the widespread assessment is that Chairman Arafat could do much more than he has up until now to decrease the violence.
Prime Minister Barak declared that, while the implementation of the Sharm understandings remains a government goal, even if the diplomatic dialogue is maintained, it will be influenced by recent events and the appropriate lessons which can be drawn from them.
|Outbreak of Violence in Jerusalem and the Territories – Sept/Oct 2000|