Jerusalem, 26 May 2002

Cabinet Communique
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), May 26, 2002:

1. Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer held a security briefing. He noted the renewed increase of suicide-terrorism and the wave of warnings of attacks and attempted attacks. He emphasized that while most of the attempted attacks are being foiled, a minority are successful.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer detailed the prominent events of last week, including the suicide-attack in the Netanya market, the attack in Rishon Lezion, the attempted strategic attack at Pi Glilot and the attempted attack at a Tel Aviv nightclub which was foiled by its alert security guard. The Defense Minister also referred to the suicide-terrorist who blew himself up at Taanachim junction and the 16-year-old youth who was arrested near Mevo Dotan with an explosive belt in his possession.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer said that several of the suicide-attacks and attempted attacks have been perpetrated by the Tanzim organization, which is part of the Fatah movement headed by Yasser Arafat, who dutifully issues condemnations that are devoid of content.

It must be emphasized that while the world is talking about reforms in the Palestinian Authority, Israel must insist that the first reform – before any structural changes – must be the cessation of terror.

Israel continues to initiate counter-terrorist actions on a daily basis in the Palestinian Authority areas.

2. Bank of Israel Governor Dr. David Klein and the Supervisor of Banks Dr. Yitzhak Tal reported to the Government regarding the Trade Bank issue.

Prime Minister Sharon stated that the answers and briefings presented on the issue were insufficient, and a further discussion on the issue will take place upon further progress in the investigation.