Jerusalem, 31 December 1995

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 31.12.95:

1. At the start of the meeting, the Prime Minister and Defense Minister gave a detailed briefing to the Cabinet (sitting as the Ministerial Committee on National Security Affairs) on the peace talks with the Syrians in the United States.

The Prime Minister emphasized the openness and the positive atmosphere of the talks, and the understandings reached with the Syrian representatives on a number of issues.

The Prime Minister clarified that it is our intention to achieve a comprehensive and lasting regional peace, in which an emphasis is put on economic cooperation, along with security guarantees and a halt to terror. In this regard, the Prime Minister repeated that the extent of the peace bears a direct connection to the extent of the withdrawal on the Golan Heights.

The Prime Minister denied media reports about demands having been submitted to the United States, and about commitments that late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is alleged to have made.

The Prime Minister expressed his deep appreciation to the IDF in implementing the Interim Agreement with the Palestinians. The Prime Minister also expressed his thanks to the Construction and Housing Ministry and to the Public Works Department for completing the bypass roads, which enabled the redeployment of IDF forces.

The Prime Minister noted the positive dialogue that is continuing between us and the Palestinians, and the great importance of economic cooperation between the parties.

The Prime Minister emphasized that he advocates the policy of a separation between the peoples, but this does not mean a separation between territories.

According to the proposal of the Prime Minister, no discussion was held on the negotiations with the Syrians. This discussion will be held when Israel’s delegation returns to Israel. At the same time, a detailed discussion was held on other political and security matters.

2. The Chief-of-Staff briefed the Cabinet on the Katyusha firings against Kiryat Shmona, and on other security events and matters.

3. The Cabinet approved the Government Procurements agreement signed by Israel in 1994, within the framework of the Uruguay Round agreements.

4. The Cabinet approved the bill on the Implementation of the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip (Jurisdictions and Other Orders) (Legislative Amendments), 1995, dealing with the legal aspects of various issues as required for the implementation of the agreement.

5. The Cabinet approved the expansion of the Ministerial Committee on National Security Affairs.

6. The Cabinet approved the recommendations of the Directors-General Committee, headed by the Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, on assistance to Ofakim.