(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 26 October 2008:
1. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert noted that Minister Livni has requested a meeting with President Shimon Peres regarding her efforts to form a government.
2. Prime Minister Olmert made the follow remarks: "The Knesset winter session will begin tomorrow. Such events are usually marked by a statement from the prime minister, which focuses on presenting the national agenda as the prime minister sees it ahead of the winter session, and in a normal situation this is as it ought to be. I informed Minister Livni yesterday that tomorrow, I do not intend to make such a speech. I thought that in the current circumstances, this would be incorrect. Therefore, I will make short remarks on socio-economic issues and not those which certainly stand at the base of serious disagreements among the Israeli public, which will continue to top the national agenda but which, in current circumstances, I do not think it proper for me to discuss them."
3. Prime Minister Olmert said: "I understand that last night, there was an operation by security forces to evacuate outposts or in the face of activities that were not approved by the authorized state bodies. Afterwards, during the morning, there were radio interviews which included very extreme remarks by residents of Judea and Samaria, including calls to perpetrate attacks against people who did their duty pursuant to directives from the security services and the security establishment. I have instructed Justice Minister Prof. Daniel Friedmann and Public Security Minister Avi Dicter to take immediate action and use all necessary measures against those elements that spoke in this manner. Whoever spoke on radio may certainly be identified.
Whoever speaks out against IDF soldiers belongs in jail and in judicial proceedings. We will show no tolerance towards such expressions and actions. We are sick of this verbal violence, which either leads to, or affects, other violence. We know this from the past. In no way will I allow this to continue in the future and we will see to it that it stops forthwith. I will hear reports, today."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that such remarks are unacceptable and called for quick action to punish those responsible. He emphasized that there was an embarrassing forgiveness towards those same people in the courts and added that the law-enforcement authorities cannot abide the fact that this undermines the authority of the state over its citizens. The Defense Minister said that he would, this week, in conjunction with the Public Security Ministry and the Israel Police, hold a discussion on the issue of enforcing the law in Judea and Samaria, in order to coordinate measures to exhaust the legal process."
4. GOC Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin briefed ministers on security issues.
5. Industry, Trade and Employment Minister Eli Yishai and senior ministry officials briefed ministers on developments in the water economy in Israel. .
6. Industry, Trade and Employment Minister Yishai and senior ministry officials briefed ministers on the activities of the Ministry’s Industrial Cooperation Authority.