Jerusalem, 7 October 2001

PM Sharon on American offensive:
The war against terrorism was, and continues to be, Israel’s war. Israel has provided, and will continue to provide, assistance to the nations of the free world in any way they may require in the struggle against terrorism.
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The United States has begun its offensive against the bases of Osama Bin-Laden’s terrorist organization in Afghanistan tonight. This offensive comes in the wake of the terrible terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.

Over the past three days, US Secretary of State Colin Powell has kept Prime Minister Ariel Sharon apprised as to the timing of the American offensive, and the appropriate coordination took place.

President George W. Bush called Prime Minister Sharon this afternoon to update him on the offensive. President Bush noted that the offensive was part of an overall campaign against terrorism. Prime Minister Sharon wished President Bush, the American People and the forces in the field the best of luck, and offered any assistance that might be required in addition to the assistance already given.

It is important to remember this evening that the war against terrorism was, and continues to be, the State of Israel’s war. Israel has provided, and will continue to provide, assistance to the nations of the free world in any way they may require in the struggle against terrorism.

Israel has provided, and will continue to provide, assistance, but Israel is not participating in the offensive.

Israel has taken all the necessary steps to maintain the security of its citizens.