TEL AVIV (Oct. 29)
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres distinguished between the Arab-Israeli conflict and the war against international terrorism Tuesday, but suggested that the latter will benefit the peace process in the Middle East.
Peres hailed as “courageous” and “correct” Britain’s severance of diplomatic relations with Syria because of the alleged involvement of the Syrian Embassy in London in the attempt by Jordanian national Nezar Hindawi to plant a suitcase loaded with explosives aboard an El Al airliner at Heathrow Airport in London last April 17.
Peres said, in an Israel Radio interview, “In my opinion, we must distinguish and differentiate between the Arab-Israeli conflict and the war against international terrorism. The two should not be linked together.”
But “in the final analysis, the fact that the war against international terrorism is developing now will also benefit the peace process in the Middle East.” However, Peres stressed, “first of all, we must clip the wings of this horrible violence, which is of a Satanic nature.”
He referred to the ruthlessness of Hindawi who gave the suitcase bomb to his unknowing Irish woman friend, Anne-Marie Murphy, who was pregnant at the time with his child, to take aboard the aircraft which was about to leave for Tel Aviv with 375 passengers.
“I believe that the English decision is courageous, correct, and even though not many followed in its steps, I hope that it will mark the correct path in the war against terrorism,” Peres said.
Premier Yitzhak Shamir praised the British government on Sunday for breaking with Syria.