(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this afternoon (Sunday, 22 January 2006), held consultations on the issue of the upcoming Palestinian Authority (PA) elections. Foreign and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra, Minister Tzahi Hanegbi, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz, Deputy Chief of General Staff Maj.-Gen. Moshe Kaplinsky, ISA Director Yuval Diskin, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Special Adviser Dov Weisglass, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yosef Mishlav, National Security Council Chairman Giora Eiland, and other senior officials attended the meeting.

Acting Prime Minister Olmert was presented with various possible scenarios regarding the PA elections and their significance. He appointed a team composed of Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Halutz, ISA Director Diskin, Foreign Ministry Director-General Ron Prosor, Prime Minister Sharon’s Military Secretary Maj.-Gen. Gadi Shamni and Prime Minister Sharon’s Special Adviser Weisglass.

Olmert instructed the team to monitor developments in the PA, both during and after the elections, and formulate recommendations to the political leadership. The recommendations will be submitted to Defense Minister Mofaz for approval and will then be discussed by a ministerial committee chaired by the acting prime minister.

Olmert also issued separate instructions to National Security Council Chairman Eiland to prepare a list of recommendations regarding possible scenarios for the day after the elections.