Response to Statements by Hamas Leaders

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
October 23, 1997

The Foreign Ministry Spokesman expressed shock and revulsion at statements made by Rantisi and Sheikh Yassin at an assembly in Gaza yesterday. The call for jihad against Israel and the dispatch of suicide bombers to attack old people, women and children, clearly indicates that Hamas and its leaders have no interest in peace or coexistence.

Those who incite to terrorism and violence cannot take part in the peace process and thereby harm, first and foremost, the Palestinian people.

Israel will continue to fight terrorism and its inciters and demands that the international community also condemn such incitement and act against it.

We demand above all that the Palestinian Authority, within whose borders inciters operate and from whose territory terrorists launch attacks, take action against terrorist organizations. We demand that they determinedly and consistently strike at the terrorist infrastructure, so that our two nations can continue the peace process, which has now been resumed and is making progress.

Israeli representatives have been instructed to bring this incitement, which threatens a bloodbath and undermines the peace process, to the attention of governments throughout the world.