Jerusalem, 30 July 1997

PM NETANYAHU SPEAKS WITH PA CHAIRMAN ARAFAT

(Communicated by PM’s Media Advisor)

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasser Arafat telephoned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today (Wednesday), 30.7.97, at 14:15, wishing to express his condolences in the wake of the attack in Jerusalem.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told Chairman Arafat that condolences were not enough and that aggressive action must be taken against terrorism.

Chairman Arafat said that he agreed with the Prime Minister and that he would act in that spirit.

Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear that he would not be satisfied with this. In a difficult and pointed conversation, the Prime Minister told Chairman Arafat that he had recently reiterated his warnings to him about both the need for the PA to take urgent action against the terrorist organizations, and the need for full cooperation between the security services in the war on terrorism, as Arafat has committed himself to.

"The exact opposite has occurred", the Prime Minister said. "You have encouraged the violence and incitement, you have not arrested Hamas and Islamic Jihad activists, and you have not fought the terrorist infrastructure. Worse than this, senior elements in the Palestinian police have been involved in terrorist acts." Prime Minister Netanyahu added: "I demand that you take immediate action against the terror organizations. I am not prepared to be satisfied with expressions of regret. You have to completely change what you are saying and doing. You must change your your policy 180 degrees."

"Israel", said the Prime Minister, "will not accept murderous attacks against its citizens, and will not ignore such acts."