We want to see unequivocal action by the PA to stop allowing incitement. Educating people toward peace is an integral part of peace.  

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 13 March 2011:

1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:

"Last night I spoke with Chaim Fogel and with Rabbi Yehuda Ben-Yishai, the fathers of Udi and Ruthie Fogel, respectively, may their memories be blessed. I came to console them and I heard the crying of their young grandchildren who survived. And this is what they told me: Mr. Prime Minister, may God give you the strength, understanding, wisdom and bravery to defend the Israeli people, all of Israel’s citizens, at this time.

Today, the Government will be briefed by IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and the Deputy Director of the ISA about the chain of events regarding the murder, about the actions being taken to apprehend the murderers and about other matters that are occurring on the ground. We will also be briefed about the incitement being carried on within the Palestinian territories, in the schools, mosques and official PA media.

We are witnessing hair-raising things. For example, we know that there is supposed to be a soccer game there in memory of a suicide terrorist who murdered and wounded dozens of people on Jaffa Road, in Jerusalem. Regrettably, we see the PA awarding scholarships to the families of murderers. We see that they name squares after terrorists who murdered dozens of Israelis. These do not jibe with education for peace.

I spoke with Abu Mazen last night. He called to express his sorrow over the event. I told him that we expect much more unequivocal condemnations but even more than that, we want to see unequivocal action by the PA to stop allowing this incitement, that it stop leading this incitement. We think that educating people toward peace is an integral part of peace. We also intend to raise this issue in the international sphere, as one of the necessary building blocks of peace.

This week, we have seen and experienced shocks not just in our region, but a global shock. We all wish the Japanese people that they overcome this terrible disaster. We have also offered assistance to the Japanese government. I have asked Minister Begin, who heads the ministerial committee on earthquakes, to convene the committee this week. I intend to attend the meeting in order to hear a briefing on the actions that have been carried out, and which have been planned, to prepare the State of Israel, as best we can, ahead of similar disasters.

Lastly, today, we are submitting to the Cabinet an emergency plan to shorten the bureaucratic procedures involved in planning homes in the State of Israel. The State of Israel lags far behind in this area. Every year a gap of tens of thousands of apartments is created. Over a decade, this gap has grown to approximately 100,000 apartments. This gap hurts young people, young couples, discharged soldiers and those who lack the means to finance the surging price of an apartment, because there are not enough apartments; there simply are not enough. Via the usual process, we can neither shorten nor close this gap. Here, we are bypassing the bureaucracy so as to allow us, for 18 months, or less, to plan for and prepare an inventory of at least 50,000 apartments, and maybe much more, in order to alleviate the housing situation in the State of Israel.

I know that there is much criticism about this and there are many people who are explaining why it is forbidden to do this. Twenty years ago, the State of Israel took a similar step in order to absorb the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who were on their way here and who were without homes. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of young people in the State of Israel who lack homes. They live with their parents, soon they will be living with their grandparents. This is unacceptable. The Government is being asked to take a dramatic and drastic step in order to alleviate this distress and in order to build apartments in the State of Israel. The public has a right to live. We are committed to realizing this right."

2. IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and the Deputy Director of the ISA briefed ministers on the murder of five members of the Fogel family, in the community of Itamar on Friday night, 11 March 2011, as well as on actions taken following the murder.

3. Strategic Affairs Ministry Director-General Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Yossi Kuperwasser briefed ministers on Palestinian Authority incitement against Israel.

4. Pursuant to Article 7 of the 1965 Israel Broadcasting Authority Law, the Cabinet decided to recommend that President Shimon Peres appoint new members to the IBA Plenum.

5. Pursuant to Article 31b of Basic Law: The Government, the Cabinet decided to transfer Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Orit Noked’s responsibility for the 1992 Dairy Economy Planning Law to Minister Silvan Shalom.

6. The Cabinet decided to adopt Education Minister Gideon Saar’s proposal to work to increase the pedagogic and budgetary authority of schools and school administrators.

7. In continuation of its 15 July 2010 decision, the Cabinet decided to significantly increase the supply of available land for residential construction in order to stop the rise in housing prices.