Jerusalem, April 5, 1998

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 5 April 1998:

1. The Ministers of Public Security and the Interior briefed the Cabinet on the events in Shfaram last night. The Prime Minister said that the cabinet gives the police its full support to enforce the law everywhere in the State of Israel. In addition, the Prime Minister instructed the Director-Generals’ Committee on Bedouin Affairs to accelerate its work and to achieve initial results within 30 days.

2. The Cabinet was briefed on security matters by the Defense Minister and the head of the General Security Service.

3. The Prime Minister said that Israel has clearly stated that it was not involved in the death of Muhi a-Din Sharif. A message to this effect has also been given to the Palestinian Authority, which must put a halt to the inflammatory leaflets which blame Israel for his death.

The Prime Minister added that the Palestinian Authority understands the severity with which Israel would regard any attack against Israel in the wake of these empty charges.

The Palestinian Authority is taking certain localized actions, but is not doing everything it needs to against terrorism. As was proved in the recent case in which another bomb factory was discovered in Ramallah, right under the nose of the Palestinian Authority, there exists a widespread Hamas terrorist infrastructure in its territory, against which the Palestinian Authority is not acting systematically. Due to the lack of such Palestinian activity, additional terrorist attacks are possible. This is the reason for the Government’s firm demand that the Palestinian Authority fulfill its obligations to fight terrorism.

4. The Cabinet approved the appointment of former Prisons Service commissioner Aryeh Bibi to the Anti- Drug Authority Council, noting that his long record of public service makes him abundantly suitable for council membership. The Prime Minister is preparing to appoint Mr. Bibi chairman of the authority.