Jerusalem, 24 December 1995

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 24.12.95:

1. The Cabinet was given a detailed briefing by the Public Security Minister and the Police Inspector-General on the crime situation in Israel.

The Prime Minister praised the Public Security Minister and the police for its efforts and activities in the war against crime.

2. The Cabinet decided to instruct all relevant Government ministries to do everything necessary in order to provide municipal status to Humeira, Ras al-Ein, Kamana and Hussseina.

3. The Cabinet approved the Security Service ordinance, in accordance with the Security Service Law, which determines areas of "recognized service" in which discharged soldiers can be assigned to positions which work to achieve national security objectives in the spheres of immigration and absorption, education, health, home front defense, and volunteer activities on behalf of IDF soldiers.

4. The Cabinet approved, in accordance with the Anti-Drug Authority Law, the appointment of Elhanan Yishai as a member of the Anti-Drug Authority Council.

The Cabinet recorded the Prime Minister’s statement that he intends to appoint Yishai as chairman of the Authority Council.

5. The Cabinet accepted the recommendations of the inter-ministerial team on bank holdings in non-financial corporations.

The Finance Minister expressed his appreciation to members of the committee, headed by Finance Ministry Director-General David Brodet, which examined aspects of bank holdings in non-financial corporations.

6. The Cabinet approved the 1996 IBA budget. At the same time, the Cabinet rejected a proposal to raise the television tax beyond the indexed increase, determining that the raise would only be to the indexed level. The budget deficit will be partly financed by increased IBA efficiency, and partly by the Finance Ministry.

Further, the Cabinet asked the Communications Minister, in consultation with the Absorption Minister, to expand the scope of Russian-language broadcasts for the benefit of immigrants.

7. The Cabinet approved various international treaties.

8. The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation to the Construction and Housing Minister and Public Works Department employees for completing the paving of the Bethlehem bypass road on time.

9. The Prime Minister reported to the ministers on the consultations he held on the issue of archaeological excavations and the handling of human bones.

The Prime Minister emphasized that the authorities concerned will act in accordance with the opinion of the Attorney-General, according to which human bones are not "antiquities" according to the 1958 Antiquities Law.

The ministerial committee which, by law, operates under the authority of the Minister of Education, Culture, and Sport, and with the participation of the Religious Affairs Minister and the Justice Minister, will continue to operate.

The Prime Minister will also meet with all concerned, with the objective of establishing a committee headed by himself to hear appeals on cases in which there are differences of opinion, and to determine a supervisory and decision-making apparatus for the purpose of upholding the law.

10. The Cabinet heard from the Public Security Minister that the report published in the media this morning, regarding the transfer of the keys of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch to the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, is baseless and that the Patriarch has announced that he is loyal to the Government and does not deal with political matters.

11. In response to a question from Ministers Yair Tsaban and Ora Namir, the Industry and Trade Minister made a statement regarding the "Oman" factory in Ofakim and the activities being undertaken to assist the plight of the unemployed in Ofakim.