PM Netanyahu: We are anxiously monitoring what is happening in Egypt and [elsewhere] in our region. Our efforts are designed to continue and maintain stability and security in our region.
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 30 January 2011):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"We are anxiously monitoring what is happening in Egypt and [elsewhere] in our region. Last night, I spoke with US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton. I also held consultations with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and with Israeli intelligence officials.
Our efforts are designed to continue and maintain stability and security in our region. I remind you that the peace between Israel and Egypt has endured for over three decades and our goal is to ensure that these relations continue. Of course, at this time, we must show maximum responsibility, restraint and sagacity and, to this end, I have instructed my fellow ministers to refrain from commenting on this issue. Naturally, we are also holding consultations in the appropriate government forums.
Tomorrow, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will arrive in Israel, along with ministers of her government, in the framework of the biannual meetings between the Israeli and German governments. We will hold a joint Cabinet meeting. We have many common interests regarding economics, security, foreign affairs and our desire to advance peace. We view Germany – one of the most important countries in the world, and one of the most important for Israel – as a main anchor in our relations with Europe. It is self-evident that, during the visit, we will discuss the developing situation in the region."
2. Israeli Ambassador to Germany Yoram Ben-Zeev briefed ministers on Israeli-German relations in the diplomatic and economic spheres, and regarding cooperation on advancing peace and stability in our region.
3. Pursuant to Article 12 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet appointed Orna Hozman-Bechor as Director-General of the Regional Cooperation Ministry, in addition to her position as Director-General of the Negev and Galilee Development Ministry.
4. The Cabinet approved an emergency plan to increase the production of desalinated water in Israel by operating desalination facilities around the clock. This is in order to deal with the crisis in the water economy and ensure the orderly supply of water to residents of Israel, while maintaining existing sources of water. Increasing the quantity of desalinated water will lead to the production of approximately 420 million cubic meters in 2013, a larger quantity than that drawn annually from the Sea of Galilee.
The decision was made in light of the continual decline in the supply of natural water in Israel, which stems from both the considerable drop in the amount of precipitation and the utilization of water that has accumulated in reservoirs. It was decided that the Water Authority will work to reduce the effects of pollution and to rehabilitate the sources of water in Israel. It was also decided to advance a plan to establish reservoirs of treated wastewater for use by a number of agricultural communities.
5. The Cabinet approved a national plan to develop technologies to reduce the global use of oil in transportation and strengthen industries in the field.
The Government will invest approximately NIS 1.5 billion over the next decade and will work to raise billions of additional NIS from outside sources. The plan is designed to formulate solutions that will lead to a reduction in the increasing global dependency on oil and oil-producing countries, which causes instability in the global economy and harms the environment through the emission of pollutants and greenhouse gases.