JERUSALEM (Jun. 27)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called this week for international pressure on states that sponsor terrorist organizations.
“We must continue the battle against terrorism, and the countries behind them,” Netanyahu said Thursday.
“Anyone who wanted to be a partner to peace, and considers himself part of it, must take part in the struggle against terrorists, and must put political and economic pressure on those countries which give them shelter and support.”
Condemnation of terror, he said, “is not only in words, but in deeds.”
Netanyahu’s remarks at the graduation ceremony for a pilots’ course appeared to be directed at Syria, implying that the United States and other countries should exert pressure on Damascus to end its support of terrorist groups.
He spoke a day after a terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia left at least 19 Americans dead, and an ambush in the Jordan Valley took the lives of three Israeli soldiers.
A group calling itself the “Fatah-Intifada,” believed to be based in Syria, claimed responsibility for the attack on the Israelis, Israel Radio reported.
Other reports said the attack was carried out by members of the Palestine National Liberation Organization, also based in Damascus.
After the attack, Netanyahu accused Syria of becoming a base for Middle East terror — remarks that drew sharp reaction from Damascus.
Official press Thursday accused Netanyahu of “emulating Hitler” and supporting terror.
The daily Tishreen wrote that Netanyahu was “violating the basis of peace” by continuing a policy of Jewish settlements, ignoring American principles of land-for-peace and continuing the occupation of Arab land.
Meanwhile, a senior Palestinian official, Farouk Kaddoumi, on Thursday called on the United States to pressure Israel to accept the land-for-peace principle.
Kaddoumi, who is regarded as Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s foreign minister, has long opposed the Israeli-Palestinian peace accords and, unlike other senior Palestine Liberation Organization officials, has not come to the self-rule areas.
Kaddoumi said statements by American mediators have proved that they are not impartial in the negotiations.
Speaking in Cairo this week, U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher said the land-for-peace principle might have to undergo some “adjustments.”
Meanwhile, the investigation was continuing into Wednesday’s ambush of an Israeli patrol near the Jordan River north of Jericho, in which three Israeli soldiers were killed and two others wounded.
The head of central command, Maj. Gen. Uzi Dayan, met with Jordanian officers as the two sides continued to coordinate search efforts.
Dayan said initial findings indicated that the terrorists had infiltrated from Jordan and laid their ambush.
The inquiry was also looking into questions regarding the Israeli soldiers’ response to the ambush.