18 March 2002

Statement from Defense Minister’s media adviser on meeting of Supreme Security Committee
(Communicated by the Defense Minister’s Media Adviser)

The Supreme Security Committee, chaired by US envoy General (ret.) Anthony Zinni and with the participation of ISA Director Avi Dichter, OC Planning Maj.-Gen. Giora Eiland and senior Palestinian security service officials, met on Monday, March 18, 2002.

The meeting was held in a substantive atmosphere; ways to implement the Tenet outline by both sides were discussed. The matter has still not been agreed upon; it has been decided to hold an additional meeting in the coming days.

The participants decided upon security coordination in Judea, Samaria and Gaza for the purpose of transferring security responsibility to the Palestinians, as a part of the IDF’s withdrawal from the areas which it has recently entered. The transfer of authority is expected to take place on Monday night.

(On Monday night, the IDF withdrew from the Bethlehem area in the West Bank and from the northern Gaza Strip.)