Foreign Minister Agrees: Ceasefire Alone Is Not Enough

Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom told Arutz-7 today, "If the PA simply brings the terrorists to justice, takes their weapons, stops their incitement - this will be sufficient."

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Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, who met with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Saturday night, spoke with Arutz-7's Haggai Segal today. Asked what is Israel's position on the Road Map, Shalom said, "We have 14-15 comments on the Road Map that are very important," Shalom said, "and they are currently under discussion with the Americans. We do not think that they are meant to be obstacles to the process, but rather to clarify very clearly what the Israeli position is, and what Israel will insist on in each situation. The process can be started even now if the Palestinians take the steps that are required of them, namely, to fight terrorism - not just agree to a ceasefire - and to stop the incitement, and to make the reforms in the PA."

Asked how this position can be reconciled with Powell's, Minister Shalom said, "I don't think it's correct to say that Secretary Powell did not accept our position on this; both Prime Minister Sharon and I told him very clearly… We don't demand that they kill all the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists. If they simply bring them to justice, take their weapons, stop their incitement - this will be sufficient. The PA must wage a clear war on the terrorist infrastructures - otherwise, we will just have a short period of a technical ceasefire that will lead nowhere."

Minister Shalom, largely echoing Prime Minister Sharon's position, did not rule out concessions such as the establishment of a Palestinian state if the PA first does away with terrorism and incitement. The dismantling of Yesha communities could also be discussed at that point, Shalom said.