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Sharon Addresses Israeli Elections, Terror Attacks
Aired November 28, 2002 - 18:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to interrupt that report, take you now to Tel Aviv. Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon speaking on what is today a victory and tragedy for Israel.
ARIEL SHARON, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER (through translator): These murders are part of the tissue of murders and bloodletting on the part of Arab terrorism against Israelis and Jews and such. Part of the efforts of the terrorists are directed at influencing at the electoral campaign here in Israel, to influence our Democratic system.
And I wish from this podium to send my condolences to the families of those who have been killed and my best wishes for a speedy recovery to those who have been injured, and I ask you to join me in wishing a speedy, complete recovery to the three sons of my friend and colleague (UNINTELLIGIBLE). We are in the midst of a difficult campaign. A worldwide global campaign against terrorism has turned into a hands-on campaign, one which is uncompromising in combating all terrorist organizations against those who gives them shelter and sukkah everywhere, anywhere, any time.
We have to be able to take out those who carry out the attacks and those who send them. Israel will combat mercilessly those who engage in bloodletting. We are a strong people, and we will not give into terrorism. We are a people, which stands fast, fights and will prevail, and we will prevail. Today we've seen how our civil and Democratic life is intertwined with our future. After a day like this it's difficult for me to say to you that I am excited.
It's been a difficult day, but I am excited, nevertheless, at the devotion. I am excited at the expressions of comradeship. I'm excited at the privilege of being able to lead this magnificent movement. I want to thank everyone who has assisted with our achievement. We wouldn't have achieved this without your help, and I want to thank you from the very bottom of my heart.
From here, let me say to you that today we've proven that Likud is the biggest party in Israel. Today we are standing before the entire Israeli public. We are united, determined. We are - we feel we are right. We are in a leading position. We are united. Likud will double its representation, and if we all pull together, we will achieve even higher results.
SAVIDGE: You're listening to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. He is speaking in what is a night of election victory for him in the primary election of the Likud Party, but also on the day of twin terror attacks. We want to bring in Jerrold Kessel, who is also in Tel Aviv. Jerrold, the big question, especially on the part of the United States is how is Israel going to respond and how could that complicate things for the United States in coalition building against Iraq.
JERROLD KESSEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Mighty big question Marty, and the truth is we don't really know. What we do know is that the interesting fact that in this buildup in the campaign against Iraq over the last several months, the United States and particularly President Bush himself and Israel's Prime Minister, Mr. Sharon, have been seeing eye-to-eye and absolutely it seems in tune with each other.
And Mr. Sharon has given President Bush a pledge that he would do nothing that would get in the way of U.S. plans to undercut Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Now, does the latest terror actions, particularly those in Kenya, abroad and particularly that attack or that would-be attack on the Israeli civil airliner change those rules, those agreements, those understandings, which the president of the United States and Israeli prime minister have.
Possibly not, but possibly it will mean that Mr. Sharon will be asking Mr. Bush to reconsider, perhaps, whether Israel needs to be part of the global war against terror and not just since he's been speaking now about Israel resisting and continuing to confront Palestinian terror. That is the big question.
I think one of the most interesting things of the day that we've seen here was the report which we've had confirmed by officials that Mr. Sharon has instructed Israel's Mossad Spy Agency take charge of the investigation into that - those twin attacks down in Mombasa and to come up with a definite conclusion of who was behind it. What goes beyond that, I don't really know, but I think the right to ask a question, and I guess the United States and the Israeli leadership will be in touch about these latest developments - Marty.
SAVIDGE: Yes, we're going to have to wait on that one. Jerrold Kessel live in Tel Aviv, thank you.
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