Jerusalem, 16 October 1994

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 16.10.94:

1. The Cabinet approved the attached press release regarding the IDF action against the Hamas squad which kidnapped and murdered the late Cpl. Nahshon Wachsman:

The Cabinet, at its meeting today (Sunday), 16.10.94, received a full and detailed report on the IDF action against the Hamas squad which kidnapped and murdered the late Cpl. Nahshon Wachsman, and on the measures taken from the time that the kidnapping was learned of, until the end of the rescue operation.

The Cabinet extends its condolences to the Wachsman and Poraz families, and shares in the heavy loss of their beloved sons, and sends its wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.

The Cabinet is in unanimous agreement that, in the circumstances and conditions which were created, there was no choice but to order the IDF action, in an attempt to rescue the hostage.

The Cabinet wishes to express its great admiration for the IDF, and especially the soldiers of the elite unit, who acted with determination and great bravery, under the most difficult conditions. The Cabinet also expresses its admiration for the General Security Service, which displayed exceptional operational and professional ability in uncovering the murder squad and its location, in a short time and under difficult conditions.

The Cabinet expects that PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Authority will act vigorously, and will do everything they can as they have committed themselves to do against terrorist elements in the areas under their control, both those belonging to Hamas and to other organizations whose objective is to sow death and destruction, and to bring a halt to the peace process.

The Cabinet will continue to conduct negotiations with the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, on the basis of the agreements signed thus far, and at the same time will fight unceasingly against the terrorist organizations and those who aid them.

The Cabinet has further decided that the closure of the Gaza Strip will be lifted soon. In addition, the Cabinet has decided that in order to prevent the need for hitchhiking, IDF soldiers will be entitled to travel for free on public transportation.