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Media Note
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
January 16, 2009


U.S.-Israel Sign Memorandum of Understanding Regarding Prevention of the Supply of Arms and Related Materials to Terrorist Groups

The U.S. Department of State announces that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni today signed a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the prevention of the supply of arms and related materials to terrorist groups. It contains political commitments on steps the United States and Israel will take to stem the flow of weapons and explosives into Gaza.

The United States remains committed to bringing peace and security to Israel and its citizens and to Israel’s Palestinian neighbors. This MOU underscores our support for efforts to reach a durable and sustainable end to the hostilities in Gaza. It is a first step towards an end to rocket attacks and threats directed against Israel from Gaza.

In addition, the MOU lays the groundwork for upgrading existing programs and exploring new cooperative mechanisms in the region to combat weapons smuggling. There must be an international consensus that Gaza will never again be used as a launching pad for terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens. The sooner we can bring the current hostilities to an end, the sooner the real work in forging a permanent peace can resume.

The United States has said repeatedly that the continued supply of armaments to Hamas and other terrorist organizations in Gaza, including by some in the region, is a direct cause of current hostilities. There is a solid foundation from the efforts of Minister Livni and her team working with her Palestinian counterparts. It is time to intensify efforts to realize the vision of the two-state solution.

2009/061


Released on January 16, 2009

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