CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat) Jerusalem, 26 July 1996

At the Cabinet meeting today (Friday) 26.07.96:

1. The Public Security Minister, the Defense Minister, and Acting Police Commissioner, Maj.-Gen. Gabi Last, briefed the Cabinet on the terrorist incident which occurred last night in which two Israelis were murdered. They reported to the Cabinet that a closure has been imposed on Judea and Samaria and an internal closure on the city of Hebron. A special concerted effort will be made to find the group which carried out the attack.

The discussion on this matter was classified, in accordance with section 44 of the Basic Law: The Government.

The Prime Minister told the ministers that he has directed all of the security services to make a special effort to find the group which carried out the attack. The Prime Minister also directed that new means be used to improve ongoing security in the area where the attack took place. The Prime Minister said that there cannot be any compromise in activities against terrorism nor can there be any limitation on the operations of our security. We also demand that the Palestinian Authority fulfill all of its commitments, first and foremost, in the security sphere. We demand that the Palestinian Authority act to destroy the terrorism of all of the terrorist organizations, without any distinction.

The Prime Minister reported that, together with the Foreign Minister, it was decided a number of days ago, that following the Foreign Minister’s meeting with Arafat, clear and precise demands concerning violations of the agreements concerning Jerusalem would be presented to the Palestinians. We demand, uncompromisingly, that the Palestinian Authority fulfill its commitments and correct these violations on their part.

The Foreign Minister, during his meeting with Arafat, presented the Government of Israel’s clear and firm demands concerning correcting violations by the Palestinian Authority.

The Prime Minister said that the Israeli citizen, a resident of Jerusalem, Mr. Hirbawi, was released following the Government’s unequivocal ultimatum and clarification of the harsh steps which would be taken, if he was not released. We will not accept the recurrence of such incidents in the future.

The Defense Minister said during the meeting, that Israel will fight day and night against terrorism both on the operational and intelligence spheres.

The Foreign Minister said that after all of the necessary information is in our hands, we will take the appropriate steps, and in this respect, there will be no compromise.

2. The Cabinet approved the Foreign Minister’s proposal to ratify the agreement with the United States regarding cooperation against terrorism, giving the Foreign Minister the authority to carry out the decision. The objective of the agreement is to strengthen cooperation between Israel and the United States in the struggle against international terrorism.

The joint working group for the struggle against terrorism will meet to hold regular consultations.

3. The Cabinet noted the second anniversary of the terrorist attack against the Jewish community’s building in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

4. The Cabinet approved the Finance Minister’s proposal to allow Bank Hapoalim to sell to different buyers, in an off stock market deal, 5.5% of its shares in Clal (Israel), so that the percentage of the Bank’s holdings will decrease to 25%.