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THE ISRAEL REPORT

November/December '99
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24 November, 1999

FM LEVY ON RED LINES , PALESTINIANS, SETTLEMENTS



Excerpts (chosen by IMRA):

* The Palestinians must not harbor illusions that the Israeli Government will change its decision on the withdrawal.

* Suspending the talks harms the process and leads to foot-dragging, thus creating an artificial crisis atmosphere, and has no chance of succeeding.”

* The world community must be made aware of the Israeli Government’s red lines – among them the non-dismantlement of existing settlements – so that the world community will not, at a later stage, blame Israel for not realizing the Palestinians’ expectations.

* The criteria for determining national priority “A” areas will be determined by socio- economic, not political, data and will be applied exactly as they are for all communities around the country, no more and no less.


#1 FM LEVY MEETS EU ENVOY MORATINOS
(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
Jerusalem 24 November, 1999

Foreign Minister David Levy met yesterday morning (Tuesday), 23.11.99, with European Union envoy Miguel Moratinos, who is on his way to Damascus.

Mr. Moratinos reiterated his assessment that Syrian President Hafez al-Assad believes in peace and the resumption of the negotiations with

Israel. He informed Foreign Minister Levy of Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov’s intention – in cooperation with the Americans – to convene a meeting of the steering committee at the foreign ministers level in order to discuss resumption of the multi-lateral talks.

Foreign Minister Levy updated Mr. Moratinos on the letter that he received from his Russian counterpart inviting him to visit Moscow in order to discuss bilateral relations and ways to advance the peace process.

Foreign Minister Levy asked Mr. Moratinos to convey a message to Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat, with whom he was scheduled to meet yesterday, that, “The Palestinians must not harbor illusions that the Israeli Government will change its decision on the withdrawal. Suspending the talks harms the process and leads to foot-dragging, thus creating an artificial crisis atmosphere, and has no chance of succeeding.”

Foreign Minister Levy added that, “The Palestinians must consider where these ill-conceived steps are liable to lead.”

#2 FM LEVY MEETS YESHA COUNCIL LEADERS

(Communicated by the Foreign Ministry Spokesman)
Jerusalem 24 November 1999

Foreign Minister David Levy met yesterday morning (Tuesday), 23.11.99, with the Yesha Council leadership to emphasize the importance that he attributes to an ongoing dialogue with the Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza and to building confidence between them and the government.

Regarding the establishment of outposts, Foreign Minister Levy said that the Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza must act according to the law and Government decisions and not be dragged into actions which create unnecessary tension. He called on the Jewish residents of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, “to act responsibly and not jeopardize what is truly important by partisan actions and unnecessary remarks.

In response to a request to convene a meeting of the directors-general committee to discuss the ranking of national priority “A” areas, Foreign Minister Levy said, “The criteria for determining national priority “A” areas will be determined by socio- economic, not political, data and will be applied exactly as they are for all communities around the country, no more and no less.”

Foreign Minister Levy updated the Yesha Council leaders on the negotiations and said that the Palestinians’ foot-dragging will lead nowhere. The Government has made its decisions and has its red lines.

“The world community must be made aware of the Israeli Government’s red lines – among them the non-dismantlement of existing settlements – so that the world community will not, at a later stage, blame Israel for not realizing the Palestinians’ expectations. Compromises must be made by both sides,”
Foreign Minister Levy said.
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