Prime Minister Ehud Olmert repeated Wednesday that the "convergence" plan (for destruction of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria) had been shelved because of "a change in circumstances." He explained, however, that he is not giving up on his general vision for an independent Arab state existing securely beside Israel. The prime minister was speaking at an annual news conference with representatives of the foreign press.
Olmert said that if the Kassam rocket attacks on Israel continue, Israel would have to retaliate. "We are not going to restrain ourselves forever," he said. "The continued attacks challenge Israel's patience. In the end, if the attacks continue, we will respond."
Four Kassam rockets were fired at Israel Wednesday prior to Olmert's speech.