PM Sharon updates US President Bush and Secy of State Powell
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon spoke by phone yesterday evening (Tuesday, 27.3.2001) with U.S. President George Bush and updated him on the wave of attacks perpetrated at the initiative of the Palestinian Authority, and headed by Yasser Arafat. The Prime Minister told President Bush that Arafat has refrained from ordering a halt to the terror, and emphasized that while Israel was allowing for the easing of restrictions on the Palestinian population, Arafat has taken advantage of this: he has not stopped the violence, but has even increased it, while the thrust behind the perpetration of these acts of terror is Force 17, Arafat’s Presidential Guard.
The Prime Minister emphasized to the President that his government’s primary responsibility is to protect and provide security for its citizens, and it will do everything to achieve this.
The deliberations at the United Nations concerning the possibility of dispatching an international observer force to Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, were raised during the conversation. Prime Minister Sharon clarified Israel’s strong opposition to international intervention, which would cause an increase in friction and not halt the terrorism. Such International intervention would be tantamount to the awarding of a prize for terror and encourage it.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell telephoned Prime Minister Ariel Sharon yesterday evening.
Prime Minister Sharon made it clear to Secretary of State Powell that the deterioration in the security situation, which stems from the Palestinian Authority’s terrorist activity and incitement, is intolerable.
Prime Minister Sharon said that not only is Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat refusing to foil terrorist actions, but his forces are directly involved in attacks and are fully cooperating with Hizbullah and other terrorist organizations.
Prime Minister Sharon expressed his opposition to any international involvement in the conflict on the grounds that this would be a reward for terrorism. The Prime Minister emphasized that those who perpetrate acts of terrorism – as well as those who both dispatch and assist the perpetrators – will not escape punishment and added that Arafat and the PA will bear the consequences.
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