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CORRECTION: Sharon defends policies in Powell call

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  • Josh Pollack
    The following story was distributed to MewNews with the wrong date. -JP Ha aretz August 2, 2001 Sharon defends policy of targeted liquidations to Powell By
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2001
      The following story was distributed to MewNews with the wrong date. -JP

      August 2, 2001
      Sharon defends policy of 'targeted liquidations' to Powell
      By Aluf Benn and Natan Gutman, Ha'aretz Correspondents and Agencies


      Prime Minister Ariel Sharon defended Israel's policy of "targeted
      liquidations" to U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in a telephone
      conversation Wednesday, saying Israel had the same right to defend itself as
      the United States, an Israeli political source said.

      The diplomatic-security cabinet decided Wednesday to continue the policy of
      'targeted liquidations' in spite of international criticism for an IDF
      helicopter strike Tuesday on the Hamas headquarters in Nablus that killed
      six Hamas members and two Palestinian children.

      At the conclusion of the more than five-hour meeting, Prime Minister Ariel
      Sharon decided to continue the existing security policy of "pinpoint
      liquidations" against terrorists and those who prepare terror attacks. The
      ministers who participated in the discussion agreed not to personally attack
      Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat or to declare the PA an enemy.

      Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, who returned to Israel on Tuesday after the
      IDF strike in Nablus, led the moderate line during the meeting and said that
      there was no need to attack Arafat but rather to strike at terror. Peres
      also expressed doubt that Arafat exercises full control over events on the
      ground and especially over Hamas and Islamic Jihad members.

      The ministers heard long and detailed briefings from security officials
      about the latest incidents in the territories and Israel. There was
      agreement between Shin Bet and military intelligence heads that Arafat has
      control in the field, influences terror and encourages it. During the
      briefing Peres asked many questions and made many comments.

      Participants in the meeting included Sharon, Peres, Defense Minister
      Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, Deputy Defense Minister Dalia Rabin-Pelossof, and
      Finance Minister Silvan Shalom. Shas chair Eli Yishai, who was invited to
      the meeting, did not arrive.

      In light of Hamas threats to strike Israeli leaders, Police Commissioner
      Shlomo Aharonishky said that the police and Shin Bet security service would
      Wednesday discuss how to provide protection for Israeli political figures
      Hamas has said it plans to target, following the IDF's strike.

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