Tuesday, August 31, 2010

PM Netanyahu: Talks to be held as scheduled, but No compromise on Israel's security demands

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's plane landed in Washington on Tuesday, ahead of the start of direct peace talks. During his flight, Netanyahu was updated on the details of the shooting attack near Hebron, by his military secretary, Yohanan Locker. Sources from the PM's entourage told Ynet Israel had prepared for the possibility that terror elements may attempt to carry out attacks or fire missiles in an attempt to foil the direct negotiations.

Earlier, a close aide to Netanyahu stressed that "negotiations with the Palestinians will be held as scheduled."

However, the aide stressed that, "Israel's policy of response remains the same as it was in previous attacks. This means there will be a response, and the murderers will pay."

The prime minister instructed security forces and the IDF to bring the terrorists to justice, one of his aides said, and he will "stress in the talks in Washington that this attack supports his unequivocal demands before any agreement – to reach definitions that will protect the law of the State of Israel and the citizens of the State of Israel.

Spokesman Nir Hefez said as Netanyahu arrived to the US: "The criminal murder proves again the need to stand firmly on Israel's stringent security demands, and there will be no compromise on them."

Hefez said Netanyahu had, in response to the killing of four Israelis in a roadside shooting near the West Bank town of Hebron, "ordered (Israeli) security forces to act without political limits to catch the murderers and react aggressively."
Netanyahu plans to hold consultations on Israel's response as soon as he lands in Washington. In the meantime, he is in constant contact with the defense minister, the chief of staff, the Shin Bet chief and various security sources."