(Communicated by the Defense Minister’s Media Adviser)
6 November 2001
Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer – in coordination with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – on Tuesday evening, November 6, 2001, ordered the IDF to prepare to withdraw its forces from Ramallah while maintaining the tight closure around the city.
Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer directed that the withdrawal be carried out in conjunction with the transfer of responsibility for security matters to local Palestinian commanders and on condition that quiet be maintained.
Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer’s decision was made following an assessment of the situation with authorized security officials and with the view of bringing about a reduction of security-based tension on the ground, as was recently done in Hebron, Bethlehem, Kalkilya and Jericho.
Following the withdrawal, the IDF will retain full freedom of action to continue carrying out such actions as may be necessary in order to fight terrorism and prevent terrorist attacks.
Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer emphasizes that Israel insists that the Palestinian Authority maintain security calm on the ground and fight terrorism by arresting terrorists and preventing terrorist attacks.
Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer views the Palestinian Authority as having sole responsible for terrorist attacks originating in its territory and has directed the security forces to continue preventing terrorist attacks wherever the PA does not do so.