Jerusalem, 25 November 1996

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU RESPONDS TO NETZARIM INCIDENT

(Communicated by Prime Minister’s Media Advisor)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented today, Monday, 25.11.96, on negotiations with the Palestinians and the incident at Netzarim.

The Prime Minister said that he takes a serious view of the provocation by the Palestinians at Netzarim. "Such a policy, for the sake of causing friction bordering on violence, is not useful and will be met with a vigorous Israeli response. We are proposing the path of dialogue and a clear course to the completion of the agreement on Hebron. What is now required is a Palestinian decision. We hope that the Palestinians choose the path of peace and dialogue. This is our path."

"I hope that nobody on the Palestinian side adopts the path of provocation and, if anyone has received the impression that the incidents which followed the opening of the Western Wall Tunnel are the way to continue, he is making a grave error. Political accomplishments will be achieved around the negotiation table, and the time has come for the Palestinians to recognizes this."

"The way is paved for an agreement between the two sides. The negotiations are not stuck, and there are no unbridgeable gaps. The Palestinians have adopted a policy of procrastination first, they waited for the elections in the United States and then for the Cairo Conference. Now, I do not know what they are waiting for. I believe that it is possible to reach a sound and secure agreement on Hebron, and those complaining about a lack of trust should not act in a manner that compromises trust."