Jerusalem, 2 January 2002

PM Sharon to Norwegian FM: Seven days of complete quiet must precede implementation of Tenet plan and Mitchell report; Arafat not carrying out counter-terrorist operations
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met today (Wednesday), January 2, 2002, with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen. The Prime Minister said that the decline in the number of terrorist incidents stems from Israel’s counter-terrorist operations and the international pressure on Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat. Arafat is neither carrying out counter-terrorist operations nor making arrests; he has not arrested the assassins of Minister Rechavam Zeevy or the PFLP leaders who dispatched them, the whereabouts of whom are known to him.

Prime Minister Sharon said that the State of Israel wants peace and added that for true peace, a peace of generations, Israel would be prepared to make painful compromises; however, he noted that there will be no compromises regarding the security of Israel and its citizens.

Prime Minister Sharon said that last night (Tuesday), January 1, 2002, he ordered the security establishment to ease restrictions – including the opening of roadblocks – on the Palestinian population and to try, as much as possible, to ease conditions for the civilian population that is not involved in terrorism.

Prime Minister Sharon said that Israel would not conduct diplomatic negotiations under fire and added that the way to make progress towards the discussion table is to have seven days of complete quiet, after which it will be possible to begin implementing the Tenet plan and then the Mitchell report.