(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

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

1. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told ministers that he would depart on adiplomatic mission to France and Britain, during which he would meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Prime Minister Olmert views the visit as an opportunity to improve our relations with France and Great Britain, two European countries which hold a decisive influence on the formulation of EU positions on issues of great importance to our region.

Prime Minister Olmert will raise the issue of the Iranian threat with France and Britain, both of which are adamant on preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons. "As I have emphasized previously," the Prime Minster stated, "a nuclear Iran is not an Israeli problem, but an international one, and France and Britain certainly are taking an aggressive, determined and consistent line on this issue." Prime Minister Olmert will discuss with the British and French leaders the necessity of continuing economic and diplomatic sanctions against Iran, which are perceived as beginning to take effect.

Prime Minister Olmert will also raise the issue of negotiations with the Palestinians ahead of the international meeting this autumn, other bilateral issues and the strengthening of Israel-EU relations. Israel is presently in the midst of an accelerated process of integrating activities and projects with the European Union. Prime Minister Olmert also briefed ministers on his meeting last Thursday with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Prime Minister summarized by noting that Israel currently finds interlocutors throughout Europe, a new era in Israel-Europe relations. He expressed the hope that these relations will improve further and thus contribute both to regional stability and Israelis’ sense of security.

2. ISA Director Yuval Diskin briefed ministers on current security matters.

3. The Cabinet decided as follows regarding those evacuated from the Deihaniye compound:

Interior Minister Meir Shetrit will grant evacuees (hereinafter "residents") A-5 entry visas into Israel as per the 1952 Entry into Israel Law and Article 2 of the 2003 Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law (Temporary Provision). The visas will be valid for one year and will be extended from time to time in the absence of any criminal or security grounds to the contrary, dependent on continued residence in Israel. Residents will receive adjustment grants of NIS 45,000 per household and NIS9,000 grants for each child under 18. Funds will come from the Coordinatorof Government Activities in the Territories.

A Defense Ministry representative will chair a team – composed of representatives from the Israel Lands Administration and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories – to hold a dialogue with theresidents regarding a permanent housing solution. The team will update the Cabinet within six months. 

4. The Cabinet appointed former Minister Moshe Nissim as a member of the public-professional committee to select the Attorney General, effective immediately.

5. Pursuant to the 1996 Electricity Law, and in accordance with Finance Minister Ronnie Bar-On’s and National Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer’s proposal, to appoint Eran Pollack as a member of the Public Services Authority – Electricity, effective immediately.

6. The Cabinet discussed the draft 2007 Magen David Adom (Amendment -Symbol) Law.