(Communicated by the GPO)
THE FOLLOWING ARE PRIME MINISTER YITZHAK RABIN’S REMARKS AT EREZ CHECKPOINT, FOLLOWING HIS MEETING WITH PLO CHAIRMAN YASSER ARAFAT
(August 10, 1994)
Chairman Arafat and his colleagues and the Israeli party just concluded a meeting in which we discussed the continuation of the implementation of the Declaration of Principles (DOP) and the Cairo agreement. More specifically, we referred to the negotiations for the implementation of the early empowerment and discussed the question of elections. I must stress to the Palestinian side and to the Chairman, Israel’s commitment to the DOP and to the Cairo agreement and explain that we have to implement it in a way in which the purpose and the goals which were decided upon during this talk, and the documents, will be implemented. At the same time, I brought to the attention of the Chairman some of the problems of violence in the Gaza Strip and elsewhere. And no doubt the purpose is security and normalization of relations.
We decided that the negotiations will continue on Monday and Tuesday between the two committees which deal with early empowerment and, of course, elections, in Erez next week. THe liaison committee will meet on Wednesday. And if there will be a need for another meeting between the Chairman and myself, and our colleagues, it will be a week later, Monday or Tuesday, or whenever it will be decided. I hope that on the Israeli side and on the Palestinian side, tension will be reduced, violence will be reduced, statements that undermine or are against what we are committed to will not be heard by officials on either sides. And therefore, let’s hope, that what we are committed to will be implemented in the spirit of readiness to work together, to cope with those who try by violence to undermine our efforts, and to achieve the goals defined in the DOP and the Cairo agreement.
There are always differences of opinion, which are legitimate, and we have to overcome our differences in accordance with our commitment.
Q: Did you discuss the Jerusalem issue?
A: We did not discuss the Jerusalem issue as part of the negotiations for the overall solution for us and the Palestinians. There were here and there remarks about Jerusalem, but the negotiations regarding Jerusalem and other issues will be discussed according to the timetable [laid out] in the DOP.
Q: What is your reaction to Mr. Kadoumi’s statement [calling for the destruction of Israel], and did you discuss the transfer of funds from the donor nations?
A: [Translated from Hebrew] I want to make it clear that Kadoumi’s words contradict the agreement, and it is inconceivable that this issue will become an acceptable part of the agenda, since his comment negates what the PLO Chairman has promised in his letter to me, and this was a commitment to mutual recognition. If such statements are heard again in the future, they will be a obstacle to all future progress on the realization of Declaration of Principles, and a more specific time will be demanded for a meeting [of the PNC] to amend the Palestinian Covenant. It is unacceptable to us that a senior PLO leader should stand up and talk out against the right of the State of Israel to exist. This is inconceivable, and if it should happen again, it will be a serious stumbling block in the progress of this process.
The issue relating to the money is between the donor nations and the Palestinians. The manner in which they will receive the money, and the conditions under which the donor nations will transfer the money, are not directly Israeli issues. However, we have a great interest that the Palestinians receive the aid, which will be allocated to security, the Palestinian police, the Palestinian administrators in Gaza, and of course to the development projects in Gaza which we are very much looking forward to seeing established, creating work in Gaza, and improving the economic situation in Gaza.
A: I cannot deny that it is an obstacle, because if the PLO could come up with such a statement which negates the Chairman’s letter to me, which calls for mutual recognition, it is a real problem, and I do not want to deal with it publicly, but, as I said, if this continues, it will serve as an obstacle to what we are doing now.
Q: What is the status of the routes between Gaza and Jericho?
A: The safe passages on our side are ready, and we will make an effort to open them next week, on Monday.