Jerusalem, 18 November 2001

DM Ben-Eliezer to Cabinet: IDF withdrew from Tulkarem over the weekend
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), November 18, 2001: Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer briefed the Cabinet on security issues from the past week.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer remarked that the IDF continued its gradual withdrawal of forces from Palestinian towns in "A" areas, and withdrew from Tulkarem over the weekend. In its withdrawal from Tulkarem, the IDF implemented the model used in previous withdrawals from Palestinian towns – deployment around the towns instead of inside the towns. This allows the IDF full freedom of action to foil and prevent terrorism, while transfering responsibility to the Palestinians.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer further reported that the level of violence this week was similar to last week, with a slight upward trend. The Defense Minister detailed the main security incidents that took place over the past week, and stated that the Israeli defense establishment continued to carry out varied and successful preventative actions this week as well.

As a gesture for the holy month of Ramadan, which began this past Friday, Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer authorized a series of easing of restrictions for the Palestinian population not involved in terrorism.