Jerusalem, 28 April 1996

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 28.04.96:

Further to the 26.4.96 decision of the Ministerial Committee for National Security Affairs, which approved the document of understandings concluding Operation Grapes of Wrath:

1. The Cabinet expresses its thanks and appreciation to all branches of the IDF, which operated with determination and perseverance, and succeeded in bringing about the situation and conditions in which the understandings were reached without any casualties to our forces.

2. The Cabinet expresses its appreciation to residents of confrontation line communities in the north for their firm stand, over an extended period, allowing the IDF to operate without interference.

3. The Cabinet expresses its great sorrow over the attack against Lebanese civilians in Kana, as the result of accidental Israeli shelling, but again underscores the responsibility of Hizballah and the Lebanese government for the circumstances which brought about the incident.

4. The Cabinet will work toward the rapid rehabilitation of northern communities, and to fix damages caused to homes and infrastructure as soon as possible. The Cabinet will examine ways to compensate for indirect economic damages caused to confrontation areas.

5. The Cabinet expresses its appreciation and thanks to the President of the United States and the Secretary of State for their great efforts and contribution to the achievement of the document of understandings toward ensuring the welfare and security of northern communities, while preserving the IDF’s freedom of action.

6. The Cabinet approved the appointment of Dr. Alon Liel as director of the National Economic Planning Authority.

7. The Cabinet decided to create a ministerial committee to address the issue of debts owed to Israelis by residents of the territories. The committee will be headed by the Justice Minister, and its membership will be comprised of the Finance, Foreign, and Public Security Ministers, as well as Minister Yossi Beilin.

The committee will hear the complaints of Israeli creditors, and of others whom it sees fit, regarding the difficulties in enforcing judgments against Palestinians and in collecting debts from them. The committee will submit its recommendations to the Cabinet as soon as possible.