On the eve of Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars, PM Netanyahu paid tribute to those who fell in battle for the revival and security of the State of Israel and to Israelis murdered in terrorist actions.
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 8 May 2011):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"This evening, the nation will mark Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars. Almost 23,000 men and women have fallen in battle for the revival and security of the State of Israel. Approximately 2,500 additional Israelis have been murdered in terrorist actions. We and this state give thanks to them.
Those who fell in the unique Carmel wildfire disaster – including three heroic firefighters who gave their lives to save others – have recently joined the ranks of the fallen. Danny Chait, Uri Semandayev and youth volunteer Elad Riven, may their memories be blessed, stormed into the blaze like fighters defending the lives of others. In light of the special circumstances, the Cabinet decided in December of last year to grant a special status to their families and provide them with the rights of bereaved families.
We now face the question of commemoration. This is a sensitive and painful issue that requires serious, responsible and legal comment. I would like to commemorate the fallen in an appropriate manner that will honor their sacrifice. Since the issue of recognizing and commemorating the fallen is provided for by law, it requires legislation. Today, I will appoint a ministerial team chaired by Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman to submit – within 60 days – draft legislation, the goal of which will be to properly provide for the commemoration of the fallen.
On another important issue, today the Cabinet will make a socio-economic decision of the highest order. We will raise the minimum wage, with a NIS 410 supplement, to NIS 4,300 a month. This is immeasurably important news and will not only help low-income wage earners in dealing with price increases, but will also help reduce social gaps and encourage people to join the workforce."
2. Prime Minister Netanyahu briefed ministers on his visit to Britain and France last week.
The Prime Minister said that in his meetings with British Prime Minister David Cameron and with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, he had clarified Israel’s position regarding the Palestinian Authority-Hamas reconciliation agreement and said that, "If this union was for peace, we would support it. However, it pushes us away from peace and, in effect, the PA is accepting into its ranks a body that is committed to our destruction in word, deed and in its armament program, this is a move that is very anti-peace."
Prime Minister Netanyahu noted that he had asked the British and French leaders to explicitly insist on the Quartet principle, according to which any Palestinian government – and component thereof – must recognize the conditions set by the Quartet.
Prime Minister Netanyahu added that it was his impression that the actions which Israel took as soon as the PA-Hamas agreement became known, as well as his talks in London and Paris, had succeeded to a certain degree in blocking the wave of support that the Palestinians had received in many countries following the aforesaid agreement.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said that he and his French interlocutors had also discussed various bilateral issues, including the intention to expand trade and hold a joint ministerial meeting by the end of the year.
3. Pursuant to Article 23 of the 1959 State Service Law, the Cabinet appointed Tal Alderoti as Justice Ministry Chief Land Appraiser for a six-year term, effective 1 June 2011.
4. Pursuant to Article 31(d) of Basic Law: The Government, the Cabinet decided that supervision over deposits collected by gas suppliers for gas containers will be under the authority of the National Infrastructures Minister. The Knesset will be duly notified of the foregoing.
5. The Cabinet approved, in principle, draft amendments to the 2011 Minimum Wage Law, regarding an increase in the minimum wage, unanimously approving raising the minimum wage by NIS 410 to NIS 4,300. According to the draft legislation, the minimum wage will be increased in two phases: From NIS 3,890 to NIS 4,100 in July 2011, and by an additional Nis 200 in October 2012.
It was also decided to request that the Knesset House Committee – in keeping with the Knesset rules of procedure – exempt the draft legislation from a first reading and allow it to proceed directly to its second and third readings.
The continuation of the legislative process will be carried out with the consent of Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.
6. The Cabinet welcomed, and decided to promote, the Dead Sea’s candidacy in the New 7 Wonders of Nature Competition. An inter-ministerial steering committee – chaired by Tourism Ministry Director-General Noaz Bar-Nir and composed of representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Foreign Ministry, the Regional Cooperation Ministry, the Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, the Interior Ministry, and the Tamar and Megillot regional councils – will consider and outline a course of action for promoting the Dead Sea’s selection in the competition.
In the context of the foregoing, the Tourism Ministry will conduct an NIS 8.75 million marketing campaign. (Financing will be provided as follows: Tourism Ministry – NIS 3.5 million; Regional Cooperation Ministry – NIS 1 million; Foreign Ministry – NIS 1 million; Prime Minister’s Office – NIS 2 million; Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry – NIS 0.5 million; Tamar Regional Council – NIS 0.5 million and Megillot Regional Council – NIS 0.25 million).
7. The Cabinet approved a Culture and Sports Ministry initiative to open 63 national heritage sites around the country, free of charge, on Independence Day.