Jerusalem, 26 April 2002

Israel is seeking to delay the arrival of the UN committee
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Following a government discussion today (Friday), 26.4.2002, at Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Tel Aviv office, in the framework of the heads of the various coalition factions, the Israeli team that is working in New York City with the UN Secretariat was directed to insist on the points that were formulated prior to its departure. The interpretation which Israel has received ahead of the fact-finding committee’s arrival does not match the mandate of the UN Security Council decision. In order to clarify matters, Israel is seeking to delay the arrival of the committee until the discussions have been concluded and the problematic points have been clarified.

The participants in today’s government discussion noted that the IDF had fought a difficult battle in Jenin with armed terrorists who purposely concealed themselves among the civilian population. The IDF refrained from harming innocents, while courageously fighting to defend the security of Israeli citizens.

Israel will present these facts to all concerned. Even now, the facts reveal the terrible blood libel that the Palestinians have attempted to spread by the mendacious use of fantastic – yet absolutely refuted – numbers regarding their losses.