In the last few days, we have witnessed a new wave of terrorist attacks against Israel. The Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups are making an intense effort to bring about a conflagration and an escalation as Israel carries out its disengagement from Gaza.
In the last few days, we have witnessed a new wave of terrorist attacks against Israel. Many innocent Israeli civilians have lost their lives, in the wake of a suicide bombing in the Israeli coastal city of Netanya and the ongoing onslaught of mortar and rocket attacks against the town of Sderot and the Israeli communities in the western Negev and the Gaza District.
The Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist groups are making an intense effort to bring about a conflagration and an escalation as Israel carries out its disengagement from Gaza. As the Disengagement draws nearer, the terrorist attacks are ever increasing.
In spite of declarations by the Palestinian Authority that calm is in the Palestinian interest, and their lukewarm condemnations of terrorism, the PA has been totally ineffective in the face of terror. Aside from a few sporadic and fruitless actions, President Mahmoud Abbas and other PA officials are unwilling to confront the terrorist organizations, in order to fulfill their commitments to stop terrorism and dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.
The PA and the Palestinian population, as well as Israel, have a clear interest in an orderly handover and continued operation of the crossing facilities, both during and following the disengagement. Israel, for its part, has a vested interest in ensuring that the population is able to maintain a dignified and secure way of life. Nevertheless, just as in the past, the implementation of understandings and coordination with the PA is dependent upon calm. The deteriorating situation in Gaza, the continued mortar and rocket fire on Israeli communities and the suicide bombings are undermining the key understandings reached with the Palestinians regarding the disengagement.
The current situation cannot continue. Israel has an obligation to defend its citizens, and will not tolerate a campaign of murderous terrorism waged against its people. In the absence of effective actions on the part of the PA to stop the mortar and rocket fire on Israeli communities, Israel will have to take the initiative, and will do whatever is necessary to stem the rocket fire: Israel is prepared to intercept those carrying out the shooting, to take action against the terrorist handlers and will target the terrorist infrastructure in all its aspects.
In spite of these difficult events, Israel is still striving for peace. Notwithstanding the wave of terrorism, Israel is determined to advance the peace process with the Palestinians, including the implementation of its disengagement initiative, scheduled to begin in less than a month. Israel will not allow the terrorist organizations to dictate the realization of the disengagement initiative which is intended to promote peace. The disengagement will be carried out on schedule. At the same time, Israel will do everything in its power to quell the fire and to take action against the terrorist organizations which spark the fire.
Israel calls on the international community to bring its influence to bear on the PA leadership, so that it fulfills its commitments and takes immediate and effective action to stop the rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, dismantles the terrorist infrastructures and restores calm to the areas under its control.