Jerusalem, 28 April 2002

Cabinet Communique
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

During the first part of its meeting today (Sunday), April 28, 2002, the Cabinet discussed the fact-finding committee that has been appointed by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to inquire into events which occurred in the Jenin refugee camp, and US President George Bush’s requests of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon regarding Minister Rechavam Ze’evy’s murderers and Fuad Shubaki – that they be held in detention under the supervision of British and American wardens in an isolated installation in Palestinian Authority territory, and regarding PA Chairman Yasser Arafat’s freedom of movement.

The Cabinet decided as follows:

1. The Cabinet noted Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s statement that conditions have yet to be created whereby UN Secy.-Gen. Annan’s fact-finding committee may be received. Israel awaits additional clarifications.

2. The Government of Israel expressed its appreciation for US President Bush’s friendship and his efforts to fight terror and advance peace.

3. The Government of Israel has decided to accede to US President Bush’s request, as detailed in US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s letter to Prime Minister Sharon. As Secretary of State Powell noted in his letter, Israel adheres to its legitimate demand that Minister Ze’evy’s assassins and Fuad Shubaki – who is responsible for the terror link between the PA and Iran and for the financing of terrorist activities – be handed over to it.

4. The government authorized Prime Minister Sharon to continue urgent diplomatic contacts on these two issues.