Peres Statement on Attack in Afula

(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, responding on Wednesday, April 6, 1994, to the attack in Afula, said: ‘I am filled with sorrow and mourning; our hearts go out to the families [of the victims] and to the wounded, whom we pray will make as speedy a recovery as possible.’ Mr. Peres added that it is clear that there are extremist elements who seek to murder the peace process and who want to kill Jews because they are Jews. Mr. Peres expressed his opinion that there is no connection between the Oslo agreement and the terrible events which occurred yesterday. We must continue with the peace process, he said, and not allow HAMAS and the Islamic Jihad to damage it.

Mr. Peres noted that the massacre committed by Baruch Goldstein in Hebron has exacted a high price from us and there is no guarantee that we have finished paying for it. When such an incident occurs, support for peace wavers; but peace must be examined and evaluated according to its results. Even now, said Mr. Peres, he already hears reserve soldiers, mothers and young people welcoming the fact that they will not be forced to do reserve duty in Gaza.

Israel Radio, April 6, 1994
(Translated from Hebrew)

The primary lesson to be learned is that there are still many people who seek to kill the peace process, who seek to murder Jews because they are Jews, and we cannot remain silent. On the one hand, we must be thankful that we are leaving Gaza and being relieved of the responsibility which has become insufferable, in the knowledge that the agreement which we signed is beginning to become reality. On the other hand, we must bear in mind that we have not seen the end of violence and terrorism. The solution which we have agreed upon is a partial solution, and painful incidents were regretfully to be expected. What has happened today is even more painful than what we feared, and our hearts go out to the families and to the many wounded. No one can promise that this will be the last such incident. What we can promise is that we shall spare no effort to root out the murderers, to stamp out the organization which seeks to kill, to murder and to destroy everything that is good in the Middle East.