Jerusalem, 29 March 1998

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 29.3.98:

1. The Public Security Minister briefed the Cabinet on events which are expected to occur during the commemoration of ‘Land Day,’ tomorrow, 30.3.98.

2. The Cabinet approved the current program of Jubilee anniversary events, as well as the Attorney General’s proposal granting broadcast rights for the Jubilee Chimes performance to all television stations permitted to broadcast the event in Israel. The Prime Minister and the other Cabinet ministers praised the Celebrations Association and its directors for organizing the events.

3. The Absorption Minister reported to the Cabinet on the immigration of the Falash Mura from Addis Ababa to Israel. The Prime Minister said that this operation whereby a community eagerly wishing to immigrate to the Land of Israel is being enabled to do so constitutes no small achievement. There is great human suffering in the Addis Ababa camp, he said, and it is important that this be brought to an end. The Prime Minister also ordered the allocation of the required resources to assist in absorbing the Falash Mura immigrants from the Addis Ababa camp.

4. The Cabinet approved the recommendations of the committee, headed by Rabbi Haim Druckman, on the conversion of (adopted) minors. According to the committee’s recommendations, minors will be converted only by special conversion courts for minors which will act to expedite the conversion process by as much as possible.

5. The Prime Minister reported to the Cabinet on his meetings with American envoy Dennis Ross. The Prime Minister emphasized that there has not yet been any discussion of redeployment percentages. The talks dealt with the conditions necessary for continuing the process. The main discussion related to the question of reciprocity; media reports on this issue have not been accurate. Israel insists on the concrete fulfillment of Palestinian commitments, in accordance with the Note for the Record which accompanied the Hebron Accord. Israel also insists on a clear link between the implementation in stages of both the redeployment and of Palestinian commitments. The Prime Minister added that Israel continues to insist on its right to determine the extent of the redeployment in keeping with its security needs, and as set forth in the letter of U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher.