ISRAEL’S POSITION REGARDING TERRORIST ATTACK IN JERUSALEM
Foreign Minister Levy’s Remarks Following Jerusalem Bomb Attack, July 30, 1997
The terrorist bombing of the Mahane Yehuda market yesterday was a
barbarous attempt by fanatics to undermine the peace process.
There can be no excuse, or rationalization, for the cold-blooded
murder of innocent men and women whose sole “crime” was simply
shopping for fresh vegetables at an open-air market.
While the actual perpetrators of this outrage are indeed extremists
bent upon ending the peace process, it must be emphasized that a
major share of the responsibility for this attack rests upon the
shoulders of the Palestinian Authority.
For many months Israel has, continuously and through a variety of
channels, sought to impress upon PA Chairman Yasser Arafat the
gravity of the security situation. This issue was raised at every
meeting between Israel and the Palestinians, including the last
meeting between Foreign Minister Levy and Chairman Arafat, as well as
in the latest meetings between the Foreign Minister and senior
Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath. Instead of full security
cooperation, as set forth in the various agreements between Israel
and the Palestinians, we have witnessed a breakoff in security
contacts on the part of the PA.
It should be noted that not only did the PA refuse to cooperate with
Israel on security matters; in fact, Palestinian policemen were
recently arrested by Israeli forces as they were actively engaged in
terrorist activity. This, in itself, was a grave occurrence which
should have alerted the Palestinians to the dangerous level of the
Moreover, the PA actively encouraged incitement against Israel, inter
- The official Palestinian radio station broadcast, over the past
months, increasingly venomous statements – including ad hominem
attacks upon Prime Minister Netanyahu.
- Preachers in mosques, who are appointed and paid by the PA,
delivered “sermons” which could only be compared to the worst
antisemitic rhetoric (ie. “the Jews are descended from monkeys and
- The Palestinian representative at the United Nations in Geneva
absurdly accused Israel of infecting Palestinians with the AIDS
It was this atmosphere of willful negligence and overt incitement on
the part of the PA which contributed to setting the stage for this
It is not only obvious that violence and peace, mayhem and
coexistence, are mutually contradictory, but it is equally obvious
that one cannot be an honest partner for peace while countenancing
terrorism and engendering an environment which is hospitable to
Words, however heartfelt, are not enough. We expect the PA to take
the following measures in order to restore our confidence in its role
in the peace process:
A) An end to incitement against Israel and the taking of effective
steps to prevent incitement to violence.
B) Apprehension, trial and punishment of the heads of terrorist
C) An intense effort aimed at disrupting the terrorist infrastructure
and networks, including the confiscation of illegal weapons and
D) The transfer to Israel of terrorist suspects.
In conclusion, Israel calls upon those who are truly interested in
peace to condemn, forthrightly and in no uncertain terms, this