The Cabinet decided to appoint Maj.-Gen. Binyamin (Benny) Gantz as the Chief-of-Staff of the Israel Defense Forces and approved a comprehensive multi-year plan to to strengthen the Druze and Circassian communities
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 13 February 2011):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"Today, we will submit for Cabinet approval the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Benny Gantz as the next Chief-of-Staff of the State of Israel. He is an outstanding officer and an experienced commander.
Maj.-Gen. Gantz has considerable operational and organizational experience. He has all the necessary qualities to be an outstanding commander of the IDF. This appointment will enhance the stability of the IDF, which is always important, but is especially important at this time of deep shocks in our region.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lt.-Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi, who is concluding his outstanding term as Chief-of-Staff. We congratulate him on his achievements and wish him success in the future.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak resigned over the weekend and left Cairo. he Government of Israel welcomes the Egyptian military statement that Egypt will continue to honor its peace agreement with Israel.
The peace agreement with Israel has stood for many years. During this period, all Egyptian governments have upheld and advanced it and we believe that it is the cornerstone of peace and stability, not only between the two countries, but in the entire Middle East as well."
2. Pursuant to Article 3(c) of Basic Law: The Army and in accordance with the recommendation of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the Cabinet decided to appoint Maj.-Gen. Binyamin (Benny) Gantz as the Chief-of-Staff of the Israel Defense Forces, effective tomorrow (Monday, 14 February 2011). Lt.-Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi will conclude his term as IDF Chief-of-Staff upon Maj.-Gen. Gantz’s entry into office.
The IDF Chief-of-Staff serves for three years. In special circumstances, the Cabinet is entitled to extend the term for an additional period, not to exceed one year.
3. The Cabinet approved a comprehensive multi-year (2011-2014) NIS 680 million plan to strengthen Druze and Circassian communities. The plan was formulated at the behest of the Prime Minister’s Office, in cooperation with the Finance Ministry, various other ministries and Druze and Circassian local council heads. The goal of the plan is to strengthen the communities and the Druze and Circassian populations and reduce gaps between them and other populations in Israeli society. The plan focuses on, and provides responses to, problems in the fields of education, housing and others.
The communities included in the plan are: Yarka, Beit Jann, Julis, Hurfeish, Kisra-Samia, Yanoach-Jat, Sajur, Kafr Kama, Ein al-Assad, Reihania, Peki’in, Rama and Abu Sinan.
4. Science and Technology Minister Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz and Science and Technology Ministry Director-General Menachem Greenbloom briefed the Cabinet on the activities of the Ministry in 2010-2011.