Interview with Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz

(Newsweek) Lally Weymouth - Q: In Rafah, why are you destroying so many houses? Mofaz: We are not destroying houses without a reason. The houses that we have destroyed had tunnels dug [under them, leading to Egypt]. The tunnels - we have exposed 90 [in recent years] and there are more - are the main way that Palestinian terror groups get ammunition and anti-tank weapons. We must stop it. Q: The international community is protesting your actions. Mofaz: The world should understand that we don't have any other choice. We destroy houses that are used by terrorists....One picture out of context can change public opinion. They do not show what they have done to the bodies of our soldiers. They played soccer with the head of one of our soldiers. Q: Do you favor an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza? Mofaz: We must continue with disengagement. If we had a partner on the other side, we could do it by agreement. If not, we should do it unilaterally. We cannot wait. Disengagement is crucial for the State of Israel. Q: Should Arafat be expelled? Mofaz: When I was chief of staff, I said he should be exiled and someone else would take his place. Arafat is not a partner. He sends money to the Fatah Tanzim to back terror against us and gives orders for terror against us. Q: How do you see the situation in Iraq? Mofaz: I believe the U.S. has no other choice than to fight against al-Qaeda and opposition groups.

2004-05-25 00:00:00

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