Jerusalem, 19 December 1996

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Thursday), 19.12.96:

1. The Prime Minister said that the Government of Israel is working very closely with the U.S. administration in order to advance the cause of peace, and this is in spite of the fact that we and the U.S. administration have different approaches on the issue of settlements. Israeli policy on the issue of settlements is in complete accord with what the Prime Minister stated to President Clinton at the beginning of the former’s term. The principle of the policy is to continue construction within the framework of the borders of existing settlements; private lands will not be expropriated for the construction of homes; decisions on new settlements will be made only by the full cabinet; and the policy does not contradict the Oslo Accords, as was also stated by the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

2. The Cabinet in accordance with the recommendation of the Public Security Minister appointed Police Maj.-Gen. Amos Azavi to the post of Prison Service Commissioner, in place of current Prison Service Commissioner Aryeh Bibi, who is completing his term.

3. The Cabinet did not approve the Israel Broadcasting Authority budget today and will discuss the issue again at the next Cabinet meeting so that the ministers can study the various committees’ reports on the functioning of the IBA.

4. The Cabinet approved appointments to the Ports Authority council and the Airports Authority.

5. The Cabinet accepted the Education, Culture, and Sports Minister’s proposal to recognize the Academic College of Tel Aviv-Jaffa as an institute of higher learning, thus enabling it to grant a first academic degree.