25 February 1994


Information Division – Israel Foreign Ministry

1. Israel strongly condemns the horrendous murder of innocent Arab worshippers in a house of prayer. This is both a horrifying act of insanity and a frightening expression of cruelty.

2. Israel expresses its sorrow and grief, and extends condolences to the families of those who were killed and wishes for a full and speedy recovery to the injured. Earlier today, Prime Minister Rabin conveyed the feelings of the Israeli government and people to Chairman Arafat and to the Palestinian people.

3. Israel, for its part, will fully investigate the circumstances surrounding the attack, draw the necessary conclusions and take measures to prevent such events from recurring.

4. The government of Israel will do its utmost to guarantee the safety of Arabs and Jews alike. Israel and the Palestinians must display restraint and work together to confront the extremists who wish to derail the peace talks.

5. Israel favors accelerating the peace talks in order to achieve an agreement on the implementation of the DOP. Only the translation of this agreement into a new reality, for Palestinians and Israelis, will provide peaceful co-existence and security for both sides, and will be the answer to all extremists.

6. The solution for Israelis and Palestinians is to be found in the context of the DOP, to which Israel remains fully committed. Any stalling of the talks, or deviation from the DOP, will only disrupt the peace process.

7. The government of Israel today held a special meeting to discuss the murder in Hebron. The government heard a report of the measures being taken by the IDF. The government will decide on further steps to be taken at its meeting on Sunday.