Jerusalem, 30 August 1998

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 30.8.98:

1. The Cabinet was briefed on security matters by the Defense Minister, and expressed its appreciation to the IDF and the defense establishment for their efforts in the war on terrorism originating in Lebanon.

2. The Cabinet was briefed by the Education Minister, in advance of the new school year.

The Prime Minister said that there must be an emphasis on Zionist and Jewish identity studies. He further determined that the Cabinet would devote special meetings to educational issues one session will be dedicated to the study of Jewish heritage, a second session will address scientific and technological education and a third meeting will discuss higher education. The Prime Minister also instructed the Finance Minister and the Education Minister to resolve the maintenance problem affecting the education establishment across the country.

The Police Inspector-General briefed the Cabinet on the preparations being made regarding school security and safety.

3. The Cabinet created a directors-general committee to formulate a plan for strengthening the status of Kiryat Shmona, the main city in northern Israel and a symbol of the confrontation line in the north.

The Prime Minister said that the Government is committed to creating momentum in Kiryat Shmona which will transform the city, which has suffered more Katyusha attacks than any other place, into an attractive location for investments and new residents, which will benefit the entire region.

4. The Cabinet approved the appointment of Avi Blobstein as Director-General of the Religious Affairs Ministry, in keeping with the rotation agreement between Shas and the NRP.