(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The Cabinet convened today (Friday), 8 October 2004, in order to be briefed on the series of terrorist attacks against Israelis at tourist sites in Sinai.

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, Health Minister Danny Naveh and senior security establishment officials briefed ministers on the rescue and evacuation efforts, which began immediately after the attacks, and which are continuing.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said that this was a very serious event: “Terrorism doesn’t distinguish between countries or peoples.  Terrorism is global and its goal is to attack the free world; therefore, there can be no compromise with terrorism.  It must be fought relentlessly, in every way possible.”

Prime Minister Sharon noted that these terrorist acts took place in Egypt and harmed it.  However, the Prime Minister emphasized that the terrorist attacks in Sinai were mainly directed against Jews, who constitute a target for terrorist actions around the world.

Prime Minister Sharon commended the cooperation with the Egyptians at all levels, vis-a-vis rescuing and evacuating the wounded, cooperation that he and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak agreed upon in their conversation this morning.  The two men also agreed on the continuation of the special cooperation in the war against terrorism.

Prime Minister Sharon thanked the various security services, the rescue forces, the Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the Health Ministry for the considerable effort that they invested in dealing with the severely wounded and with the concomitant complex situation.

On behalf of the Israeli government, Prime Minister Sharon expressed deep regret over the strike at Israeli, Egyptian and other citizens, all of them innocent civilians.