Jerusalem, 19 August 2001

Cabinet Communique
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 19.8.2001:

1. Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer reviewed the current security situation, and noted that 60 shooting incidents occurred over the weekend, for the most part on the roads. Further warnings of attacks were also received. The Minister clarified that the IDF responds to the attacks and shootings. Minister Ben-Eliezer also dealt with the situation on the northern border.

2. Science, Culture and Sport Minister Matan Vilnai briefed the Cabinet on NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin’s recent visit to Israel. He related to the special relationship and cooperation between Israel and the United States in the field of space research. The Minister clarified that they agreed on cooperation in fields that will promote Israeli industries and that will promote educational projects. In addition, it was agreed that Israel’s participation in the international space station would be advanced including the introduction of Israeli medical equipment to the station and growth of vegetation under space conditions.

3. The Cabinet discussed expanding Channel 1’s Arabic and English broadcasts with the objective of broadcasting news and current events.

4. The Cabinet heard a report by National Infrastructure Minister Avigdor Lieberman and experts from his office on Israel’s preparations for dealing with earthquakes and charged him with following up on the implementation of decisions reached on this subject and to further update the Cabinet on the issue.

5. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon – on behalf of himself and the government – congratulated Foreign Minister Shimon Peres on the latter’s 78th birthday.