Excerpts of Interview with Prime Minister Sharon
Channel 2 News – March 8, 2002

PM Sharon: I am determined to make every effort to reach a cease- fire. I have therefore informed [the Americans] that, while of course continuing to act to halt this terrible wave of terrorism, we are ready to begin discussions on the Tenet Plan. If the terrorism continues, we will continue our activity. This is the change. I had thought it would be possible to achieve a period of calm – during which they would take no action and we would take no action – before such a discussion. However, this is not the situation today, due to the intensity of the fighting.

Q: In other words, this indicates that negotiations will be conducted under fire.

PM Sharon: The negotiations to achieve a cease-fire will be conducted under fire – specifically: negotiations to achieve a cease-fire. Of course, we will not be able to conduct political negotiations, since it would be pointless. One cannot hold talks to achieve peace, if there is no security. However, we are currently working for a cease-fire, and I will make every effort to achieve it. Nevertheless, if the Palestinian terrorism continues, we will operate using all the force at our disposal, while at the same time doing our utmost to achieve a cease-fire.