Upon landing at the military airbase adjacent to Ben Gurion Airport
after a summit meeting in Egypt, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz
told reporters about a meeting with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
earlier in the day.
"I said to him 'Even as we sit here, a number of terrorist cells are planning to carry out attacks in Israel in order to spread death and havoc and murder across our country.' To my regret, I didn't know how accurate the timing of my statement would be," Mofaz said.
Mofaz vowed to do everything possible to protect Israel's citizens, adding, "We have the possibility to prevent these sorts of attacks. Israel has prevented hundreds of these attacks over the past year. We will learn how it happened, from which terrorist infrastructure it came from, and we'll act accordingly. I understand the Islamic Jihad
terrorist organization took responsibility. We'll make sure to deal with the Islamic Jihad as we have done with other terrorist infrastructures."
The attacks occurred as the aged military 707 carrying the defense minister touched down. A military aide rushed up to Mofaz as soon as he stepped out of the plane, and filled him in with details. Phones and beepers started ringing in the group of aides and reporters traveling with Mofaz.
In meetings with Mubarak and Egyptian Defense Minister Field-Marshall Mohamed Tantawi, Mofaz had discussed, among other issues, improving the economic situation of the Palestinians.