Minister Shalom: New Task Force To Monitor P.A. Incitement

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Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom met with US Secretary of State Colin Powell in Jerusalem on Friday - their third meeting in a month - and said afterwards that though Israel is committed to "working with our Palestinian neighbors and American friends" on behalf of peace in the region, "we cannot ignore the threat of terrorism that continues to target Israeli citizens indiscriminately." He thanked Powell for his condolences over last week's terrorist murders of 7-year-old Noam Leibowitz and 63-year-old Avner Mordechai, but said,
"this reality only strengthens my conviction that the war on terrorism must continue everywhere, using all means at our disposal. This is a fundamental condition for any future progress... I have tasked a special team in our Foreign Ministry to monitor the incitement in Palestinian media and statements by Palestinian officials. I was happy to hear that [American envoy John] Wolf adopted my proposal to have both our teams work in close coordination on this issue."

Jordan and Egypt rejected today a request by Minister Shalom to return their ambassadors to Israel. The two said that the conditions are not yet ripe - although Jordan's representative said that if a preliminary agreement is reached between Israel and the PA, the issue could be reconsidered.