(Communicated by the Defense Minister’s Media Adviser)
6 January 2002
The people of Israel, and the whole world, are excited in light of this brilliant operation. We have named the operation "Noah’s Ark". However, this ark contains destruction and death in its hold, instead of life and hope.
The fighters of the Navy and Air Force operated to perfection as they were trained to operate. That is their mission. The defense establishment expresses its deep admiration for the participants, and thanks them in the name of all the people of Israel.
Commendations also go to the Israeli intelligence community. Hundreds of thousands of Israelis are sighing with relief thanks to their amazing abilities.
I have to admit, it is not an easy decision for the political echelon to make. We are talking about an operation that was very far from the shores of Israel with a high degree of danger. We made the decision because the State of Israel will not accept any limitations upon itself in the fight against terrorism, not territorial waters, not air space and not land borders.
The most significant effort to this point, to turn the territories into a copy of Lebanon, has been foiled. Israel will not allow the territories to be turned in to a strategic threat.
The weapons that have been captured are not meant to be used in the struggle against terrorism or to solidify the PA’s standing in light of the threats on its rule. These are offensive weapons meant to be used in "quality" terrorist attacks that indicate the intentions to escalate and continue the confrontation. It goes without saying that this in complete contradiction to all agreements, understandings, international law and moral norms.
Iran is the #1 exporter of terrorism in the world, and the PA’s decision to align itself with a state sponsoring terrorism proves its true objective, which is in contradiction to global objectives since September 11, as well as its declarations of its peaceful intentions. The path of terrorism will lead to the continuation of suffering in the region, and lead the Palestinian people to disaster.
I hope that the Palestinian people will open their eyes and see to where its leadership is taking them, and where they are investing their money. In our estimate, the ship and weapons cost several million dollars, and instead of investing that in the welfare of the Palestinian people, the PA invested it in terrorism. According to a basic calculation, the cost of the ship and the weapons is equivalent to the cost of wages for tens of thousands of Palestinian family heads for a month.
The weapons were meant for the Palestinian Authority. The ship was purchased by them; the people who organized and participated in this are from the Palestinian security apparatus.
We are an optimistic, peace-seeking people, but reality slaps us in the face time after time and reminds us who our neighbors are. Despite that, we are committed to carrying on and exhausting every process in the effort to achieve a cease-fire and opening a dialogue to peace.
We do not have the privilege of despairing of finding a diplomatic solution.
It has already been said, "with stratagems you will make war", but with wisdom and patience spirit we will make peace.
||Seizing of the Palestinian weapons ship Karine A – Jan 4, 2002|