FM Peres: Fatah is the only Palestinian element capable of fighting terrorism

(Communicated by the Foreign Minister’s Bureau)
Jerusalem, 19 July 2002

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mr. Shimon Peres, stated today that without a Palestinian organ which, together with Israel, will confront terrorism, it will be impossible to end the suicide attacks.

Peres added that from among all the Palestinian factions it appears to him that, even today, the Fatah is the only element which is capable of fulfilling this mission. He stated that in order to create a Palestinian motivation to combat terrorism, living conditions for the residents of the territories must be improved and a political horizon must be presented.

Palestinians fighting against terrorism mustn’t be viewed as collaborators in the eyes of their own people, and their war against terrorism must stem from a Palestinian nationalist motivation – to prevent the destruction of their people’s future.

Peres also stated that he is convinced that a relationship can be built with the Palestinians in Judea/Samaria and Gaza which would not be unlike that existing with the Palestinians living in Jordan. "Between Aqaba and Eilat not a single shot has been fired in 54 years, and the border in the Arava which stretches 200 km is peaceful, despite the fact that a part of the population in Jordan is Palestinian. We are dealing with a different relationship, not with different Palestinians," Peres stated.