Jerusalem, March 10, 1998

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Tuesday), 10.3.98:

1. The Ministers of National Infrastructure and Industry and Trade briefed the Cabinet on their visits to Jordan this week. The former reported on a series of joint economic projects; the latter stated that bilateral trade had doubled last year.

2. The Prime Minister briefed the ministers on his European trip. He said that he emphasized in his talks there that the the fulfillment of commitments by the Palestinians is the immediate necessary condition for resuming the peace process. He intends to honor the Oslo Agreement and demand that the other party do so as well. In the first stage, we are trying to advance the work of the interim agreement committees. The European countries can contribute to this goal by encouraging the Palestinians to reach agreement with Israel on these matters. The second stage is the fulfillment of commitments by the Palestinians, while Israel simultaneously carries out the redeployments. Third, is moving to the permanent settlement and fourth is the resumption of the multilateral talks.

The Prime Minister added that he also raised the issue of Lebanon and reiterated Israel’s willingness to leave southern Lebanon on the condition that the Lebanese Army carries out its international obligations there. It is necessary that the Lebanese Army deploy in southern Lebanon, hold the territory and prevent terrorist organization and activity from its territory against Israel.

3. The Minister of Public Security and the Israel Police Inspector-General presented the Cabinet with the report on police activities for 1997 and the main points of police plans for 1998. The Inspector-General emphasized that 1998 will be a year of reorganization in order to fight crime more effectively. The Prime Minister praised the Minister of Public Security, the Inspector-General and the top police leadership for their initiatives and efforts to reduce the level of crime in Israel.

4. The Cabinet decided, in accordance with the recommendations of the Minsiter of National Infrastructure to establish a new community in the Adullam district. The community is to be temporarily named Massuat Guvrin.

The Prime Minister said that whereas the previous government did not establish new communities, today’s Cabinet decision is part of a series of communities that the government has established and is establishing.