Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Av 5763 - August 5, 2003 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Sharon: We won't Tolerate PA Road Map Violations
by Yated Ne'eman Staff and M Plaut

In the Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon briefed ministers on his eighth trip to the US and claimed that his visit had been friendly and successful. The Prime Minister said that his visit was designed to improve the relationship and deepen understanding on various issues, both vis-a-vis the Palestinians and regarding strategic issues such as Iran, Syria, international terrorism and Iraq.

Sharon emphasized that US President Bush had reiterated both the US's commitment to the security of Israel and its citizens and that there would be no progress in the diplomatic process without the complete dismantlement of the terrorist organizations and a complete halt to terrorism and violence. President Bush said that he had passed a sharply worded message to this effect to the Palestinians during Abu Mazen's recent visit to the US.

The prime minister noted that in addition to the security issue, he had raised the steps that Israel was taking in order to help move the process forward, such as releasing prisoners (while making it clear that Israel would not release prisoners with blood on their hands), the removal of main checkpoints, transferring security responsibility for Palestinian cities and humanitarian gestures (such as issuing 8,500 permits for Palestinians to work in Israel).

Various other issues were also raised during Prime Minister Sharon's talks in the US. He made it clear that the construction of the security fence would continue and that it constituted neither a political nor a security border, but was just an additional measure designed to prevent terror activities. It has also cut down on regular crime, mainly theft.

Regarding unauthorized outposts, Sharon noted that the government had already removed 22 such outposts and intended to remove 12 additional ones forthwith. Regarding Jewish settlement, the Prime Minister said that government policy had not changed and that the communities' fates would be decided upon in the negotiations that would be held within the framework of the permanent settlement.

On strategic issues such as Iran, Syria and international terrorism, the US had a deep understanding and views similar to Israel's.

Citing historical precedents where failure to abide by the letter of diplomatic agreements led to disaster, Sharon pledged to insist that the Palestinians fully carry out their obligations under the road map.

"The experience of the past shows that the worst mistake after reaching an agreement, is ignoring violations in implementation, even if they appear small," Sharon said.

Sharon said Israel and the Palestinian Authority are at the beginning of implementing the road map, which he reiterated that Israel sees as a performance-based, not timetable- driven plan. The next stages of the plan can be implemented only when the first stage, including a "total cessation of violence," is completed.

In Sharon's view, the basic principle of the plan is that "there is no progress from one phase to the next before the full implementation of the previous one."

This is not the view of the Palestinians, who seem to think that the road map is a timetable.

Sharon said Israel paid a heavy price during the 1973 Yom Kippur War for overlooking Egyptian violations of the 1970 cease-fire that ended the War of Attrition. One of the reasons for not acting, said Sharon, who at the time was OC Southern Command, was the argument that "you don't start another war, as long as the quiet is maintained, because of a few technical violations." He said Israel also had assurances from the US at the time that these violations would be taken care of, but paid a heavy price in downed planes and wounded soldiers during the early stages of the Yom Kippur War for this miscalculation.

Likewise, Sharon said that for the past three years Israel has paid a very high price for overlooking Palestinian violations of the Oslo and Wye accords, including the PA's failure to dismantle the terrorist organizations, confiscate and remove illegal arms, and stop the "unbearable incitement" against Israel in the PA media and educational system.

This time, Sharon pledged, things will be different. Israel will do this not because it is trying to torpedo the road map, but rather because it wants to see it succeed.

Defense Minister Mofaz said that the current quiet was misleading since the terrorist infrastructures still exist. There is still no tangible Palestinian action against these infrastructures and the absence of such activity is liable to endanger the process. The Defense Minister cautioned that Israel is taking into account the possibility that the process might yet fail and that terror would resume -- and is preparing accordingly.

US President George W. Bush said last week that he believes a Palestinian state could still be achieved by 2005, the target set in the road map for a two-state solution.

Even though the timetable outlined in the road map is running way behind schedule, Bush said he believes 2005 is still a "realistic" goal.

In a solo press conference ahead of his departure for a month at his Texas ranch, Bush reiterated his conviction that Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas understands the need to fight terrorism.

Bush echoed Sharon's call for Abbas to break up Palestinian terrorist groups so they no longer pose a threat to Israelis. If that were done, he added, the security fence would become redundant.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.