Reaction of FM Peres to Terrorist Attacks

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson)
March 27, 2001

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said that Israel is in the midst of a difficult struggle on many fronts, and that the sniper fire yesterday in Hebron and the bombings today are part of a wave of broad terrorist activity. According to Peres, the Palestinians and the Arabs are seeking to achieve an imposed peace rather than an agreed peace.

Foreign Minister Peres added that, in the UN Security Council, Israel is contesting the stationing of an international force. There is no need for an international force; Israel is not initiating any action. "If they won’t fire at us, we won’t fire at them," he said.

Peres also noted the current Arab summit as an arena of confrontation against Israel, and said that Arafat must come out publicly and explicitly against terrorism. What he is trying to achieve at the summit meeting is – instead of the long-time demand of "territories for peace", to which Israel has agreed – "territories for no peace".

"There is no alternative but to sit down at the negotiating table and to clarify the differences of opinion – without terrorism, without violence and without coercion."