Jerusalem, 21 July 1997

STATEMENT BY PM NETANYAHU

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Advisor)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met yesterday (Sunday) 20.7.97, with Japanese Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma, and raised the issue of the uncovering of a terrorist cell of Palestinian policemen: "To my regret, we are witnesses to the fact that the problem of the Palestinian policemen is one which has reached the Palestinian Police senior leadership. Imagine what would happen if there was evidence or concrete signs that the Inspector-General of the Israel Police had sent policemen or soldiers to murder Palestinian children. I think that a worldwide scandal would erupt. This is scandalous, just like the continuing murder of land dealers, about which we received fresh evidence today, from a man who had been imprisoned as a land dealer, and told of atrocities and torture. These events require a fundamental and immediate change in the policies of the Palestinian Authority. They must honor the agreements, fight terrorism, turn their police force against and not towards terrorism and halt the murder of land dealers, which is a fundamental breach of human rights. I have not heard a word about this from the UN."

The Prime Minister also commented on the proposed changes in the direct election law: "I think that this is speculation which will not bear fruit from a legal standpoint, due to the limitations in the current law. Besides that, I think that the attempt to change the law during the current term is tantamount to robbery of the mandate and choice of millions of citizens, who cast a ballot for the prime minister of their choice."