Jerusalem, 6 January 2003

Reaction of FM Netanyahu to Tel-Aviv suicide bombing
(Communicated by Foreign Ministry Spokesman)

In response to yesterday’s double suicide bombing at the old Central Bus Station in Tel-Aviv, Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said:

"President Bush said that leaders compromised by terror cannot be partners for peace. Legitimizing the sham reform efforts of Arafat’s regime will, in effect, legitimize a Palestinian leadership compromised by terror. Not only has the PA failed to fight terrorism, Arafat’s own Fatah and Tanzim forces proudly took credit for yesterday’s savage attack, and for many other atrocities over the last two years.

The Palestinian leadership does not need to meet abroad [in order] to close down suicide kindergarten camps, to stop incitement to murder and to fight terrorism. This they can do in Ramallah and Gaza – right here, right now. Until the Palestinian leadership does so, it must be given no quarter and no legitimacy in the free world."

Addressing the families of the foreign workers killed and wounded in the attack, the Foreign Minister said yesterday:

"I and the people of Israel send our heartfelt condolences to the families of tonight’s terrorist attack, and our hopes for a speedy recovery for those injured.

We would like to invite the families of the victims of tonight’s terrorist attack to come to Israel to be with their loved ones. As Foreign Minister, I will personally guarantee a swift and secure entry to all those who decide to come to Israel, and we will do our best to accommodate all their needs.

The family members of the victims can make contact with their loved ones in Israel without fear of any legal consequences.

We stand with you during these difficult times."