Jerusalem, 28 December 1998

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Monday), 28.6.98:

1. The Prime Minister and cabinet bid farewell to Mr. Danny Naveh, who held the position of Cabinet Secretary until a few days ago. The Prime Minister wished Naveh every success in the continuation of is career in public service. He described Naveh as talented and able, and spoke of his contribution to the peace process.

The members of the Cabinet also expressed their appreciation of the work done by the outgoing Cabinet Secretary and wished him continued success.

2. In response to a question from Public Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani on reports in the press according to which an agreement has been reached between the Prime Minister and opposition leader Ehud Barak on withdrawal from the Golan Heights, the Prime Minister made absolutely clear that these reports were false. Reports of such an agreement, and of an agreement between the two on the conscription of yeshiva students are completely without foundation. The Prime Minister made clear that the only point on which he and MK Ehud Barak had reached agreement was on the need to renew negotiations with the Syrians – – on all other matters mentioned no agreement was reached. He added that both he and Ya’acov Ne’eman, who was present at the meeting, possess records proving that these reports — as well as those on the compulsory recruitment of yeshiva students — are fabricated. The intention of the fabricators is to create an impression that there is no difference on political issues between the Likud and Labor, but the truth is completely different. The Prime Minister added that Israel’s presence in the Golan Heights is essential for the security of the state, and that his opinion on this, which he made clear also to MK Barak, has not changed.

3. The Cabinet approved the proposed income tax law (tax exemption for income earned from property rental) which is intended to make it easier for owners of apartments to rent them out, so as to ease the housing problem.

4. The Cabinet approved the draft arrangements law for the state economy (taxes and municipal rates), 1998.

5. The Cabinet approved the Hague charter on the protection of children and co-operation on international adoption.

6. The Cabinet approved the principles of the multi-year work program on road safety 1999-2001, and to allocate of NIS 873 million over three years for it.