28 August 2002

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

Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer has, today (Wednesday), August 28, 2002, decided to postpone until further notice the security meeting with the Palestinians that was scheduled to take place later this evening. This is in light of the serious incident in which a mortar round struck a kindergarten in Gush Katif, and the additional security incidents that have taken place in the Gaza Strip in recent days.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer has made it clear to the Palestinians that he expects them to take vigorous action to halt the terror and violence, and the attempts to smuggle weapons by land and sea.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer emphasizes that the IDF will continue its actions to halt the terror and violence, as it did on the coast off Gaza last night in order to foil seaborne smuggling. The Defense Minister does, however, intend to continue his efforts to advance the "Gaza and Bethlehem first" plan.