23 June 2002

Statement from DM Ben-Eliezer’s Office
(Communicated by the Defense Minister’s Media Adviser)

Following various reports in the media, Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer today (Sunday), June 23, 2002, would like to make it clear that there is no intention to establish IDF civil-administrative control over the residents of the Palestinian cities in which the IDF is present in order to fight terror.

The wave of terror which has swept over Israel in recent days – the bases for the preparation of which, including the suicide-terrorists’ points of departure, are located in the Palestinian Authority areas – has necessitated deep and thorough IDF action against the terror infrastructures in the Palestinian cities in order to foil attacks.

However, Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer has ordered the IDF and the Civil Administration to facilitate routine activities by Palestinian civilian institutions and international organizations regarding the Palestinian population’s needs in the fields of infrastructure, education, health, commerce and the ongoing supply of food and water.