Reaction of FM Peres to Passover suicide bombing

( March 28, 2002

This horrific act of terrorism, which took place during a holy festival, targeted innocent civilians as they began their Seder, the traditional Passover prayers and meal.

Those that planned and executed this gruesome crime have lost all semblance of humanity and Israel will see that they are punished.

Since the arrival of US special envoy, General Anthony Zinni, Israel has spared no effort to further the success of his mission. So far, the Palestinian side has not agreed to the cease-fire proposals.

The Palestinian Authority and its Chairman, Yasser Arafat, have not taken a single concrete step to stop Palestinian terrorism and as such bear responsibility for the terrible crime which took place at the beginning of Passover.

The Government of Israel has the duty to protect its citizens and is prepared to take any action it deems necessary.

Israel urges the international community to clarify this situation – and all the serious implications that emanate from it – to the PA and its leader. Strong pressure must be applied urgently upon Chairman Arafat and the PA so that they act immediately to stop the terrorist attacks in the making about which hard intelligence exists.