Statement by Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom after meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell
Jerusalem, June 20, 2003

I am happy to once again host Secretary of State Powell in Jerusalem. We will both participate in the WEF summit in Jordan and will have the opportunity to continue the dialogue with our counterparts there.

This has been my third meeting with the Secretary of State in the last month. As always, our conversation was friendly and constructive in the tradition of the close cooperation and coordination between our two governments.

Let me stress Israel’s commitment to work with our Palestinian neighbors and American friends in a concerted effort to pursue the vision of peace in our region. However, we cannot ignore the threat of terrorism that continues to target Israeli citizens indiscriminately.

Since the Aqaba summit, 29 Israelis were murdered, including children, women and the elderly. On Tuesday, Noam Leibowitz, a seven year-old child, lost her life in a terrorist attack. Yesterday, Avner Mordechai, 63 years old, was slain in a suicide bombing. Mr. Secretary, I thank you for your condolences. The murders of both a small child and an elderly man this week, underscores again that these are not simply statistics, but a horrifying human tragedy. This is not the way to achieve peace.

This reality only strengthens my conviction that the war on terrorism must continue everywhere, using all means at our disposal. This is a fundamental condition for any future progress. We must remember that the terrorists threaten not only Israel but also Abu Mazen’s government and the very peace process we are trying to pursue together with the U.S.

Having met this week with Ambassador Wolf, you have our promise, Mr. Secretary, that Israel will do all it can to assist him in fulfilling his important mission to ensure that the PA implements its security commitments and ends the incitement. His success is our success.

As such, I have tasked a special team in our Foreign Ministry to monitor the incitement in Palestinian media and statements by Palestinian officials. I was happy to hear that Ambassador Wolf adopted my proposal to have both our teams work in close coordination on this issue.