Jerusalem, 7 January 1996

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today, (Sunday), 07.01.96:

1. The Cabinet was briefed by security officials on the annual intelligence assessment. Discussion on this topic will continue soon, together with a political discussion.

2. The Cabinet discussed the Finance Minister Avraham Shohat’s proposal for changes to the State Budget. The Cabinet accepted Education and Culture Minister Amnon Rubinstein’s proposal, as follows:

A. To approve an increase in gasoline prices.

B. To approve the Finance Minister’s proposal to transfer NIS 1.3 billion from Government ministry expenditures to other categories of the budget, in order to maintain a 2.5% budget deficit.

C. The Finance Minister will bring a proposal for changes in the budget in this amount to next week’s Cabinet meeting, after consultations with ministers.

3. The Prime Minister announced that he intends to bring a draft bill to the next Cabinet meeting, regarding handling of human bones discovered during archeological excavations. The draft bill will be brought after the Prime Minister holds a discussion with ministers involved in the issue and with the Attorney General. It will take into consideration the Attorney General’s opinion regarding the applicability of the Antiquities Law to human bones and the need to preserve the dignity of the dead according to Jewish tradition, without harming the ability to carry out archeological excavations.

4. The Cabinet approved a number of international agreements with Slovakia, Jordan, Greece and Bulgaria.

5. The Cabinet approved setting up an overall steering committee on Israel-Diaspora relations, to be headed by Minister Yehuda Amital and including Ministers Beilin, Barak, Tsaban, Baram, Aloni, Shetreet and Shohat, as well as the Mayor of Jerusalem and the Chairman of the Jewish Agency.

6. The Cabinet accepted the proposal of the Prime Minister and the Justice Minister that Cabinet members sign a declaration, according to which they understand their obligations under the law to maintain secrecy.