(Communicated by the Defense Minister’s Media Adviser)

Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, this evening (Wednesday), February 25, 2004, directed Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yosef Mashlev to immediately plan how to transfer forthwith all of the terrorist funds that were seized in today’s operation in Ramallah, to a series of humanitarian goals in Palestinian society.

Defense Minister Mofaz made it clear that Israel intends to see to it that the funds, which were designated for terrorism, will henceforth serve a variety of humanitarian purposes, including improving the infrastructure at crossing points and checkpoints, Palestinian health services, transportation for school pupils, supplying food, etc.

Defense Minister Mofaz said a short while ago that, "Instead of killing Israelis and shedding their blood, these funds will now go towards improving the Palestinians’ quality of life. I have no doubt that the decisive majority of the Palestinian population prefers that these funds be used in this way and not for what they were originally intended."

Defense Minister Mofaz will submit the aforementioned directive to the Cabinet as has been done previously.