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Israel Government Decision in the Wake of the Hebron Murders

(February 25, 1994)

The cabinet met in an emergency session. It issued an unconditional and heartfelt condemnation of Baruch Goldstein's lone act. It sought to reassure the Arab world that this was the act of a single man, and discussed proposals to outlaw a number of Jewish radical right-wing groups opposed to the peace process. A proposal to appoint a commission of inquiry was also discussed. Text:

At its meeting today, the government expressed its deep shock at the awful murder of innocent Palestinians at prayer during the Fast of Ramadan, at the Tomb of the Patriarchs - a site holy to both faiths.

The government calls on everyone, Arabs and Jews, to exercise the greatest restraint, despite the harsh circumstances.

The IDF and all of the security forces are doing everything possible to prevent violence, incitement, and any deterioration of the situation.

Government ministers and the attorney-general raised various proposals concerning steps to be taken to deal with radical Israeli organizations which engage in provocations in the territories.

The government is convinced that these organizations violate the public order in a grave and dangerous manner, and that all legal measures must be used to restrain and stop them.

Even when dealing with an isolated incident of terrorism, committed by a single individual, as was the case this morning in Hebron, it is impossible to avoid addressing the impact of the incitement which is heard from time to time, and which threatens public peace and order.

The government has authorized the prime minister and minister of defense to review the various steps suggested during the discussion today, and to report his decisions to the government on Sunday [27 February].

The investigation of today events will be pursued to their full conclusion.

The government is fully committed to continue the pursuit of peace, and to advancing the negotiations, to the best of its ability.

Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs