Jerusalem, 13 December 1996

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Friday), 13.12.96:

1. The Prime Minister proposed that the Cabinet accept two resolutions, as follows:

A. The Government of Israel demands that the Palestinian Authority apprehend the murderers of the members of the Tzur family and transfer them to Israel. It also demands that the rest of the murderers whose transfer has already been requested be handed over.

B. Regarding the issue of National Priority Areas:

1) In addition to the communities in the Galilee and the Negev, the Golan Heights, the Jordan Valley and the Gaza Strip, which were defined as "A"- level national priority areas by the previous government in 1993, the rest of the communities in Judea and Samaria will also enjoy the benefits of "A"-level national priority area status.

2) The basket of benefits for all priority areas will be updated in accordance with the experience that has been accumulated in recent years. Each community in an "A"-level priority area, in Yeruham, Kiryat Shemona or Ariel, will enjoy benefits such as grants for students, building child day- care centers, assistance for business and industry, and incentives for teachers and welfare workers.

3) Implementation of the benefits by all of the ministries will begin after the ministerial committee, headed by the Prime Minister, discusses the recommendations of the directors-general committee on national priority areas, and decides on the matter with the Cabinet’s consent.

2. The Defense Minister said that Israel is conducting an on-going battle against terrorism in the areas under Israeli control and is demanding that the Palestinian Authority act against terrorist organizations in the areas under its control. The current government inherited an existing reality of Palestinian control in most of Gaza and in the cities of Judea and Samaria. This reality cannot be ignored and the government decided that it is continuing the process, while demanding that the Palestinian Authority live up to its commitments.

The government will continue to act against terrorism, will fulfill its Zionist role and will work to strengthen security and promote peace.