"As is" reference - not a United Nations document
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 19 February 2006):
1. Ministers were briefed on Palestinian affairs following the Palestinian Authority (PA) elections and determined policy in light of the swearing-in of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC).
Acting Prime Minister Olmert made the following remarks:
"From Israel's point-of-view, a new situation has been created. Israel has defined threshold conditions for holding contacts with Palestinians in the Hamas administration and it will continue to act accordingly. Israel has proven that it is interested in acting on behalf of regional peace and stability. The disengagement is a main example of this, at the base of which lies the desire to have here two states for two peoples living side-by-side in stability, security, and peace. Of course, Israel will continue to see to the personal security of Israeli citizens and will not compromise on this issue now or in the future.
"It is clear that in light of the Hamas majority in the PLC and the instructions to form a new government that were given to the head of Hamas, the PA is - in practice - becoming a terrorist authority. The State of Israel will not agree to this. Israel will not compromise with terrorism and will continue to fight it with full force. However, there is no intention of harming the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian population. Israel will not hold contacts with the administration in which Hamas plays any part - small, large, or permanent.
"From our point-of-view, the swearing-in of the PLC means that Hamas has - in effect - taken control of the PA. Israel views the rise of Hamas as a dangerous milestone that turns the PA into a terrorist authority. This new situation will influence the future of Israeli-PA relations and will begin a period in which ties with the PA are downgraded, unless Hamas fully accepts the principles that the international community has presented to it: Recognition of the State of Israel and abrogation of the Hamas Covenant, the renunciation of terrorism and the dismantling of terrorist infrastructures (by adopting the Roadmap and accepting its principles), and recognizing all understandings and agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.
"It must be pointed out that the international community's point-of-reference is the day on which a Palestinian government is formed. Until then, the international community will continue to see it as the main address, including that regarding the continued transfer of financial assistance. The US and the EU include Hamas on their lists of terrorist organizations and are refraining - at this stage - from any contacts with it. We will continue to demand that the PA fully honor the three conditions that the international community has set before it.
"Until this happens, we will take a series of steps, some of which we will decide on today. In any case, Israel has no intention of bringing about the collapse of civil frameworks and creating a humanitarian crisis in the PA. Israel will continue to act determinedly against terrorism and against terrorists. The new situation, in which Hamas members have been elected to the PLC, does not change this."
OC Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yedlin, ISA Director Yuval Diskin, National Security Council Chairman Giora Eiland, and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yosef Mishlav briefed ministers on the results of the recent PA elections.
The cabinet decided as follows:
"It is decided that, upon the swearing-in of the Hamas dominated PLC yesterday (Saturday, 18 February 2006), and upon the upcoming conclusion of the PA transitional government, the PA will become a terrorist authority unless Hamas, which controls the PA, fully accepts the following threshold conditions as determined by Israel and approved by the Quartet:
i. Upon the conclusion of the transitional government, no funds will be transferred from Israel to the PA;
ii. Israel will appeal to the international community so that, upon the formation of the transitional government, the international community will refrain from all financial assistance to the PA except for humanitarian aid given directly to the Palestinian population;
iii. Transfers of means and assistance to the Palestinian security services will be prevented;
iv. The movement of VIPs connected to Hamas, including members of the PLC, will continue to be restricted in all areas under Israeli control;
v. Given the heightened security risks, security checks at crossings - especially Karni and Erez - will be increased, regarding both people and goods. Activities to upgrade the Gaza Strip crossings will continue in order to enable more effective security oversight.
B. All measures necessary to thwart acts of terrorism against Israel will continue, both in the Gaza Strip and in the Gaza Strip; acceleration in construction of the security fence will continue.
2. Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Education, Culture and Sports Minister Meir Shetrit eulogized the late Shoshana Damari.
3. The cabinet discussed the issue of the construction of the permanent Beduin Negev communities of al-Fura and Abu-Talul.
4. The cabinet, pursuant to the 1982 Communications Law (Bezeq and Broadcasts), accepted Communications Minister Avraham Hirschson's and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni's recommendation, and appointed attorney Rani Neubauer as the Justice Ministry representative to the Cable and Satellite Broadcast Council, in place of Noga Rubinstein, who has finished her position at the Justice Ministry.