REACTIONS TO ARAFAT’S REFERENCE TO JIHAD AND JERUSALEM:

EXCERPTS FROM STATEMENTS BY PRIME MINISTER YITZHAK RABIN AND FOREIGN MINISTER SHIMON PERES FOLLOWING THEIR MEETINGS WITH SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER
JERUSALEM, MAY 17, 1994

(Translated from Hebrew)

Q: Mr. Prime Minister, we have heard remarks by PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat,a both on the issue of jihad and on a commitment he received from Israel on the issue of Jerusalem. What is your reaction?

PM RABIN: If this is a reference to a letter sent following the Cairo Agreement, I wrote this letter on May 8 and submitted it to the Knesset. It contains no reference to Jerusalem. There was no letter from me, or from the Israeli side, following the Cairo Agremeent, with regard to Jerusalem. The Declaration of Principles, signed on September 13, 1993 in Washington, states that issues relating to the permanent status, among examples of which Jerusalem is mentioned, may be raised at the time of the permanent status negotiations.

With regard to Arafat’s reference to jihad, if in fact he called for jihad, this is a serious violation of his commitment in the signed letter which he wrote to me, which led to mutual recognition between the PLO and Israel. If this was in fact what he called for, it will place the continuation of the [peace] process between us and the Palestinians in question. We cannot accept any violation of the PLO’s commitment not to be involved in violence or terrorism.

Q: Mr. Foreign Minister, we heard PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat speak about jihad.

FM PERES: The things he said are shocking and unacceptable. What he said about the letter, to the best of my knowledge and understanding, is totally unfounded. We shall examine exactly what was said, and shall respond accordingly.