Jerusalem, 9 August 1996

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At its weekly meeting today (Friday), 09.08.96:

1. The Cabinet received a security briefing by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the Defense Minister. The discussion was held in the framework of paragraph 44 of Basic Law: The Government.

2. The Prime Minister related to the matter of the Palestinian Legislative Council member’s office in Jerusalem:

"I gave an unequivocal directive to the Minister of Public Security to close the office of Hattem Abdul Khader, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. In the wake of the warning order, the police was charged with preventing activity at the office, period.

I gave clear directives on this matter, and I request the Public Security Minister to [see to it] that these directives be carried out."

The Prime Minister added that the receipt of the declaration by the man or its non-receipt is insufficient, it must be ensured by police means that nobody operates a Palestinian authority office. No mediation, discussion, or contact with him is necessary to ensure that the office does not serve as an office of the Palestinian Authority.

We will be unable to move forward in the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority as long as there are violations in Jerusalem; in any case, we will act to close the offices which operate illegally in Jerusalem.

3. The Justice Minister informed the Cabinet that he had presented a letter of resignation to the Prime Minister in the wake of the Attorney-General’s announcement to the High Court of Justice. The Minister said that he was convinced that his innocence will come to light. He saw no room for the investigation to be conducted while he serves as a government minister, despite the fact that the law does not require his resignation.

The Attorney-General informed the Cabinet of the announcement which he issued yesterday (Thursday), 08.08.96, to the media about his decision regarding the Justice Minister.

The Prime Minister said that the Justice Minister enjoys great confidence and high esteem, and hopes that the matter will be concluded swiftly so that we will be able to see Professor Ne’eman return to the Cabinet.

4. A discussion was held on the struggle against traffic accidents. The Transportation Minister briefed the Cabinet on the issue, and presented the main factors [responsible] for traffic accidents to the Cabinet, as well as a proposal for a decision to step up enforcement, adding additional officers, issue quick judgements against offending drivers, offer a unique study program for drivers, improve infrastructure, enact legislative changes which would enable [more] effective enforcement, along with an information campaign for pedestrians.

The Public Security Minister also made remarks on the issue.

The Prime Minister pointed out the number of people who have been killed in traffic accidents since the establishment of the state is greater than the number of people who have killed in the wars and terrorist acts. "For some time this has been a severe blow, and has caused terrible suffering to families; the matter must be resolved. It is possible to make a significant reduction in road fatalities. Other countries have succeeded in lowering the number of those injured, and this is our mission."

The Cabinet held a discussion and decided to establish according to a proposal by the Prime Minister a national authority for the struggle against traffic accidents, and to charge the Transportation Minister with presenting a detailed plan on this matter to the Cabinet within 30 days. The Cabinet also decided to adopt the Transportation Minister’s proposal on the appointment of a steering committee on immediately implementing a plan against traffic accidents. According to the Prime Minister’s directive, the committee must present its recommendations as soon as possible to the Cabinet, but no later than 01.11.96.

5. The Cabinet took notice of the Prime Minister’s decision to establish a ministerial committee on coordinating policy in the Bedouin sector, headed by the Minister of National Infrastructure. The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of dealing with this issue. The committee will deal with inter alia proposals for a land arrangement in the Bedouin sector, the Bedouin population which lives outside permanent settlements, and the existing permanent settlements.

6. The Cabinet approved several draft laws.

7. The Cabinet approved the appointment of Maj.-Gen. (Ret.) Giora Rom as Director-General of the National Infrastructure Ministry.

8. The Cabinet ratified a health and medical cooperation agreement with Slovakia.