Press Secretary's Statement on the Recent Conflicts between the Israeli Defence Forces and the Palestinians

April 28, 2004

  1. The Government of Japan is concerned over the recent conflicts between the Israeli Defense Forces and the Palestinians inside the Gaza Strip and its surrounding area, as well as in the West Bank, causing many deaths and injuries.

  2. Prime Minister Sharon stated in an interview with Israeli TV on the evening of April 23 that Israel had withdrawn its commitment not to harm Mr. Arafat. The Government of Japan is strongly opposed to this statement and to Israel taking steps to the effect of such a statement. The Government of Japan strongly demands, therefore, that Israel does not put this statement into action and urges the Government of Israel to exercise its maximum restraint to calm down the situation.

  3. The Government of Japan also considers it important that the Palestinian side quickly cracks down on the extremists, which is the most urgent issue that it faces, and demonstrates tangible results. The Government of Japan considers it indispensable for the both parties to immediately resume their peace efforts along with the "Roadmap," which is the only existing way for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

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