6 October 2002

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

Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer met this morning (Sunday), October 6, 2002, in Jerusalem, with EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Sulana; the focus of the meeting was the Palestinian issue. Senior IDF officers and EU Middle East envoy Miguel Moratinos also attended the meeting.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer said that. in his opinion, the existing European contacts with and expressions of sympathy for Arafat are "a waste of time." This policy does not help to encourage moderate elements in the Palestinian Authority since Arafat is only interested in the coninuation of the present situation.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer suggested that in order to prevent this, the Europeans should adopt a harsher and unequivocal stance which would demand tangible results in the fight against terror, and even consider sanctions should the Palestinians fail to change their ways.