Jerusalem, May 18, 2003

Statement by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser

Following is a statement delivered by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Media Adviser, Arnon Perlman, this evening (Sunday), May 18, 2003, following the Cabinet meeting:

"This morning’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem in which seven civilians were killed and dozens were wounded, last night’s terrorist attack in Hebron in which a husband and his pregnant wife were killed, and other attacks and victims in recent days, all prove – again – to us and the world what kind of an enemy the State of Israel is dealing with. The murderous suicide attacks which have struck the entire region, and which have been directed against Western targets, show all of us the brutality of the enemy with which we are at war.

The objective of Palestinian terror, as perpetrated by all of the organizations operating out of the Palestinian Authority areas and from abroad, is to continue to murder civilians, women, children, babies and the elderly simply because they are Jews and Israelis. The goal of the terrorists, their accomplices, those who dispatch them, and those who finance them, is to cause us to despair and lose hope. They will not succeed. The State of Israel will continue to fight terror everywhere, at all times, and in every way possible. The State of Israel will continue to act in order to foil the murderous designs on its citizens until we see that there is someone on the other side who can do this.

Israel is a peace-seeking country. Its hand has always been, and will always be, extended in peace to those who are willing, and mainly to those who can accept it. However, peace can prevail only after terror has been defeated, only after there will be quiet here. Only then will it be possible to make diplomatic progress.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is determined to make progress and, in the end, to achieve quiet, security and a genuine peace, in all its ramifications. The Prime Minister will continue his efforts until the hoped-for and correct solution is reached that will bring quiet, security and peace for both peoples.

The Prime Minister and the Cabinet send their condolences to the families of those who were murdered and their best wishes for a speedy recovery to those who were wounded and who are still hospitalized."