(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The Ministerial Committee on Security Affairs (the Security Cabinet) unanimously approved the following statement this evening (Wednesday), 19 January 2005:

“The State of Israel will allow neither terrorist actions nor the firing of rockets and mortar shells against Israel communities and will take all necessary steps to prevent this.

The State of Israel is monitoring the implementation of the steps which the Palestinian Authority (PA) has declared that it is taking against terrorism. The Cabinet supports the residents of the communities bearing the brunt of the terrorist assault, and IDF soldiers, the police and security force personnel who are fighting Palestinian terrorism.

In light of the severe events which have been reviewed and on the basis of security establishment recommendations, the Cabinet approves the security establishment recommendations regarding alternative courses of action and response by the IDF and the security forces in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, as they were presented to the Cabinet.

The Cabinet instructs the security establishment to prepare forthwith to carry out all of the approved alternatives.  Due to operational considerations the alternative that is chosen and the timing of its implementation will be determined by the decision of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Vice Premier Shimon Peres, Industry, Trade and Employment Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz.

The information campaign regarding today’s decision and any action that is decided upon will be coordinated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser, as has been done on previous occasions, in cooperation with all of the relevant bodies – the Foreign Ministry, the IDF Spokesperson, the Israel Police and all other relevant bodies.”