(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting (Sunday, 16 September 2007):

1. Pursuant to Articles 5(c) and 15 of Basic Law: The Government the Cabinet appointed MK Ami Ayalon as a Minister without Portfolio.  The appointment will be duly submitted for Knesset approval.

Following the aforesaid approval: Minister Ayalon will replace Minister Yitzhak Herzog on the Ministerial Committee for National Security.  Minister Herzog will be invited to attend Committee meetings on a permanent basis in place of Minister Shalom Simhon. In addition, Minister Ayalon will chair the Ministerial State Control Committee in place of Minister Simhon, who will serve as an ordinary Committee member.

2. The Cabinet instructed Defense Minister Ehud Barak to form a team to establish the National Emergency Authority (NEA) in the Defense Ministry. The Defense Minister will submit a comprehensive proposal for the NEA to the Cabinet within 90 days, based on the team’s recommendations. 

3. The Cabinet accepted the recommendation of the relevant ministerial committee and decided to cancel the requirement that tourists from Russia must obtain Israeli entry visas, provided that there is reciprocity.  The Foreign Ministry will negotiate an agreement to this effect with the Russian government and will check with other ministries on the possibility of concluding similar agreements with other countries from the former USSR.

4. The Cabinet appointed a ministerial committee on arranging and restoring the social rights for which new immigrants were eligible in their countries of origin.  Strategic Affairs Minister Avigdor Lieberman will chair the committee; its other members will be Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On, Pensioners Affairs Minister Rafi Eitan, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, Immigrant Absorption Minister Yaacov Edry and Social Affairs and Social Services Minister Yitzhak Herzog. 

5. The Cabinet discussed reforms at the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA).

6. The Cabinet discussed the overhaul of IBA broadcasts in Arabic.