Jerusalem, 12 May 1995

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At its weekly meeting today (Sunday), 12.05.96:

1. The Cabinet, sitting as the Ministerial Committee for National Security Affairs, was briefed by military officials on current security issues in the north, center and south of the country.

The Cabinet was also presented with plans for the redeployment in Hebron.

2. The Cabinet appointed the Advisory Committee and the Advisory Council for the Bank of Israel, as well as the committee to deal with State Inheritances and Estates.

3. The Cabinet ratified an agreement with the Czech Republic, negating the visa requirement for holders of national passports.

4. The Cabinet discussed and approved the Finance Minister’s plan for the reconstruction and consolidation of the confrontation line in the north, which was affected during Operation Grapes of Wrath in Lebanon.

The plan came in the wake of the Cabinet’s 26.04.96 decision, and following the 14.04.96 decision of the Ministerial Committee on the Confrontation Line in the North.

The plan is grounded in the need to offer a comprehensive response to all facets of life in the area while concentrating on the development and consolidation of economic and infrastructure activities in the area, support for the local councils, and direct assistance to residents of the area at the same time as additional people are being encouraged to move there.

The plan is comprehensive, costing about NIS 1 billion, and spans over three years.

Within the framework of the plan, the Cabinet approved the gradual inclusion of the minority communities of Arab al-Aramshe, Ma’ilia, Fasuta, and Ajar in the confrontation line category. In these communities, the construction of public shelters will begin immediately, in accordance with the order of priorities determined by the Home Front Command; this comes in order to eliminate gaps in the availability of shelters.

The budget for these activities is included, as stated, within the framework of the plan approved by the Cabinet.

Within the framework of the tax breaks approved for confrontation line communities in the north, a 2% tax break was also approved for residents of Nahariya.

5. The Cabinet recorded the Prime Minister’s statement:

A. In light of the rules of the National Council for Planning and Construction, the district committees have been instructed to approve requests for irregular use of legally-built structures. They have also been instructed to approve requests for irregular use, together with building permits, for storage facilities which have been given permits in accordance with the currently effective plan as long as this is consistent with the conditions of the National Council.

B. The way is now open for those holding plots of land in communities to submit requests for the approval of irregular use in type A plots, as long as the conditions of the National Council are met.

6. The Cabinet decided to act toward the creation of about 5-7 additional communities in order to house those dispersed Bedouins living outside permanent communities in the Negev.

Within the framework of a solution that will guarantee the economic infrastructure of the Bedouin community, and in accordance with security concerns, the creation of agricultural neighborhoods and industrial areas adjacent to the communities to be established will be allowed.

Under special circumstances, the creation of agricultural farms for Bedouins in the Negev will be examined.

The establishment of the communities and their number will be determined in coordination with the planning authorities.

The establishment of the communities is conditional upon the completion of the land arrangements with the Bedouins in the Negev.

A committee, to be headed by the Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, will be created, and will involve the participation of representatives from the following ministries Construction and Housing, Interior, Justice, Environment, Agriculture, and Finance. The committee will examine the economic, social and legal aspects pertaining to the housing of Bedouins in permanent communities in the Negev, and make recommendations to the Cabinet.

The Cabinet empowered the Justice Minister to bring a committee for the Cabinet’s approval in order to examine the issue of illegal construction in Bedouin encampments in the Negev.

7. The Cabinet decided to participate in the development of Kiryat Sefer.