Jerusalem, 18 October 2001

PM Sharon: Assassination of Minister Ze’evy crossed red line and created new situation
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Thursday evening, October 18, 2001, at his Jerusalem office, convened a discussion with the members of a ministerial delegation due to leave shortly for the US and Europe on an information campaign following yesterday’s assassination of Tourism Minister Rechavam Ze’evy and in light of expected developments. Ministers Shimon Peres, Dan Meridor, Danny Naveh, Uzi Landau, Ruby Rivlin, Matan Vilnai, Natan Sharansky, Limor Livnat, Tzipi Livni and Shlomo Benizri, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert and Prof. Avishai Braverman attended the discussion.

Prime Minister Sharon said that the assassination of Minister Ze’evy crossed a red line and has created a new situation. This situation calls for changing the modus operandi of the IDF and the security services with the objective of bringing security and quiet, which are pre-conditions to any progress.

Prime Minister Sharon noted that at its meeting yesterday following Minister Ze’evy’s assassination, the Cabinet unequivocally demanded that the Palestinian Authority extradite all PFLP members and disband all terrorist organizations. If the PA does not meet these conditions, Israel will view the PA as an authority that supports and hosts terrorism and will act towards it in accordance with the international rules that apply to authorities that support terrorism (see Cabinet Communique).

Prime Minister Sharon praised US President George Bush, as the leader of the free world, for his tenacious war against terror, said that Israel is part of the struggle against terror, and asserted that the values for which the US has gone to war are also Israel’s values. The Prime Minister added that since Israel is part of the West, terrorists are also directing their efforts at Israel. We are the US’ bridgehead in the Middle East, we represent the same values of freedom, liberty and democracy, and it is those values which the terrorists wish to destroy.