Jerusalem, 3 May 1998

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 3.5.98:

1. The Cabinet began its discussion of the supplementary measures for accelerating economic growth.

The Prime Minister said, at the beginning of the discussion, that the Government must make decisions which are vital for increased growth and reduced unemployment in the coming year. The Finance Ministry, at the request of the Prime Minister, presented proposals for investment in various infrastructure projects during the course of 1997-8. The Cabinet will continue its discussion next week.

2. The Prime Minister briefed the Cabinet on the political contacts with the Palestinians.

The Prime Minister emphasized that he had reiterated the need for a concrete framework of reciprocity, and for the fulfillment of commitments by the Palestinian side as well. Discussions are also taking place on a framework for the continuation of the process through to the end of the interim period, as well as on the question of moving to the permanent settlement and conducting negotiations thereon. The purpose of discussions on the framework of the process is to prevent misunderstandings between Israel and the Palestinians, and differences of opinion with the US Administration, as the process continues.

The Prime Minister informed the Cabinet of his insistence that Israel decide on the extent of the redeployment, in accordance with its national security interests. The Prime Minister added that, if the need arises, he will again brief the Cabinet following the talks in London.