Jerusalem, 24 September 2001

PM Sharon to French FM Vedrine: 99 terrorist attacks since Arafat’s ceasefire
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met today (Monday), September 24, 2001, in his Jerusalem office, with French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine. Prime Minister Sharon said that after cancelling yesterday’s meeting between Palestinian Authority Chairman Arafat and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres it appeared as if Arafat was making a serious effort to prevent terrorist attacks, and – as of early this morning – it appeared that there was a significant drop in terrorist activity.

However, this morning there was another Palestinian attack, in broad daylight, in which a young woman was killed, the second woman to be killed in recent days.

Prime Minister Sharon noted that from the time that Arafat declared his cease-fire until this morning, there have been 99 terrorist attacks in which nine people were wounded, some seriously wounded, and two women were murdered. "This not a cease-fire," the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister went on to say that in order for a meeting between Foreign Minister Peres and PA Chairman Arafat to take place, the latter must stop the terrorism.

Prime Minister Sharon added that Israel does not differentiate between terrorism and terrorism, between murder and murder. "There is no good terrorism and bad terrorism. All terrorism is horrific and no terrorists are good guys," he said.

Prime Minister Sharon asked Foreign Minister Vedrine to pass on to PA Chairman Arafat the message that the basis for progress depends, first and foremost, on security and quiet. Arafat has committed himself to this and he must make it happen, the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Sharon thanked Foreign Minister Vedrine for the French stance at the UN conference in Durban and asked him to pass on this thanks to President Jacques Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin. The Prime Minister said that France’s stance,that it would have withdrawn from the conference if a decision was made equating Zionism with racism, undoubtably contributed to the moderate resolutions that were ultimately adopted by the conference.