Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said Sunday, Feb. 27, that he is halting all "diplomatic progress" with the
Palestinians until they "take strong action to eliminate the terrorist organizations and their infrastructures in the PA areas."
In the wake of the terrorist bombing that killed four Israelis plus a suicide bomber, Sharon told his Cabinet that unless the Palestinians "begin to take vigorous action against terrorism, Israel will be compelled to step up military activity that is designed to protect the lives of Israeli citizens. I re-emphasize that there will be no diplomatic progress as long as the Palestinians do not act in accordance with their commitments and eliminate the terrorist organizations."
The Prime Minister said that the attack "was perpetrated by members of Islamic Jihad. The orders came from Islamic Jihad elements in
Syria; even though we know this for a certainty, the fact is not enough to absolve the Palestinian Authority (PA) of its responsibility for the departure of the terrorist and of its obligation to act against his partners in the crime. The immediate test for the PA will be in vigorous action against Islamic Jihad members."
The four Israelis who died in the explosion were identified as Yitzhak Buzalgo, 40; Aryeh Nagar, 37, Ronen Reuvenov, 30 and Yael Orbach, 28. The suicide bomber was identified as Abdallah Badran, 21, a student from the village of
Deir al Ghusan
near Tul Karm