(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 21 January 2007:

1. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert discussed the resignation of IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz and Defense Minister Amir Peretz’s consultations on the appointment of a new IDF Chief-of-Staff as soon as possible.

2. Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Director-General Ra’anan Dinur briefed ministers on plans to reinforce homes and structures in Sderot and other communities around the Gaza Strip and on the situation vis-a-vis evacuees from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria

PMO Dir.-Gen. Dinur discussed the compensation that has been given for agricultural and other businesses and noted that the Government deems the moving of cohesive groups into permanent communities to be of national importance regarding the quick rehabilitation of Gush Katif and northern Samaria evacuees. He added that the SELA Disengagement Authority is currently dealing with 22 plans on the issue – which are at various stages – of permanent communities for the evacuees. He also discussed the various housing projects and the issues, including that of employment, that have yet to be resolved.

Prime Minister Olmert directed PMO Dir.-Gen. Dinur to complete coordination with both public and parliamentary bodies on all outstanding issues regarding the problems of Gush Katif and northern Samaria evacuees even if this entails significant budgetary outlays. “We believe that Government policy was correct and we will do everything so that the last evacuees will feel that the state is embracing them, is looking out for them in a balanced and correctly defined fashion, and is enabling theism to embark on a new path,” the Prime Minister said.

3. Pursuant to the 1959 Civil Service Law (Appointments) and in coordination with its decision to exempt certain diplomatic appointments from the tender process, the Cabinet appointed Asaf Shariv as Consul-General in New York as of 1 August 2007. The current Consul-General in New York, Aryeh Mekel, will finish his duties at the end of July 2007. Prime Minister Olmert paid tribute to Mr. Shariv and wished him success.

4. Pursuant to the 1959 Civil Service Law (Appointments) and in accordance with the Civil Service Committee, the Cabinet decided that the position of Defense Ministry National (Economic) Emergency Board Acting Chairman will be exempt from public tender.

5. The Cabinet re-discussed the Ministerial Committee on Legislation and Law Enforcement’s decision to support certain amendments to the National Insurance Law.

6. The Cabinet discussed the issue of security for Government installations in eastern Jerusalem and decided as follows:

* To rescind the its September 2006 decision on the issue.

* Security for Government installations in eastern Jerusalem will continue to be the responsibility of the Construction and Housing Ministry. To this end, NIS 16 million that had been transferred to the Israel Police will be restored to the Construction and Housing Ministry.

* Housing and Construction Ministry Director-General Aryeh Bar will supervise staff work on the issue of security at Government installations in eastern Jerusalem and will present conclusions to the Ministerial Committee on Jerusalem Affairs within 90 days.