Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of Gilad Shalit’s abduction.
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, 26 June 2011:
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of Gilad Shalit’s abduction. He is being held by a brutal enemy, Hamas, which refuses to uphold either the minimal demands of the international treaties or humanitarian conditions. It has refused to allow him even one visit by the International Committee of the Red Cross. It is holding him in harsh conditions and we know how his family is suffering. I think that the entire nation and all fair and just people in the world are incensed at what Hamas is doing.
We have applied heavy international pressure, which has found expression in remarks by the leaders of countries such as the US and in Europe, and in yesterday’s statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, all of whom are demanding Gilad’s immediate release and a visit by the ICRC beforehand. We have also decided to change the conditions of [Hamas] prisoners; that party is over.
We are involved in many actions, and I do not think that this is the place to go into details, all of which are in order to bring Gilad Shalit back home, safe and sound. The State of Israel is ready to go far, more than any other country, in order to secure Gilad’s release but it is my responsibility and the responsibility of those who are sitting here, to see to the security and lives of the Israeli people.
We received a proposal from the German mediator. This proposal was harsh; it was not simple for the State of Israel. However, we agreed to accept it in the belief that it was balanced between our desire to secure Gilad’s release and to prevent possible harm to the lives and security of the Israeli people. As of now, we have yet to receive Hamas’s official answer to the German mediator’s proposal."
Prime Minister Netanyahu also said:
"Today, the Cabinet will make a series of decisions on a variety of issues. First of all, we will strengthen the economic sanctions against Iran. Israel must be at the forefront of countries applying severe sanctions on Iran, and we will indeed enter that rank with our decision today.
We were informed last week of the Israeli economy’s impressive jump and of an impressive decline in the level of unemployment, which has reached its lowest level in many years. I would like to commend Finance Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz and Bank of Israel Governor Prof. Stanley Fischer and all of the ministers who are engaged in advancing the Government’s economic policy, which has registered important results.
Our economic ability also enables us to take a series of socio-economic decisions. First of all, as I have promised, the Cabinet will, today, allocate the funds needed by cultural institutions, including the library, in Kiryat Shmona. I would like to thank Finance minister Steinitz, Education Minister Gideon Saar, Minister Silvan Shalom, and Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, all of whom acted in concert in order to resolve this issue.
Second, we will decide today to extend or add to the program of free pediatric dental treatment for children up to age ten. This is a very welcome change. There has been a great response to the free care that was previously up to age eight. The Israeli people understand that there has been a very welcome change here for Israeli families and children. I think that this is a very important breakthrough.
Third, today we will establish youth centers in the center of the country, in addition to those in the periphery. I would like to commend Deputy Minister Gila Gamliel for advancing this step. Lastly, we will also update the list of communities in which young people will be eligible for mortgage grants. We are thereby solving the housing problem as well as the periphery problem. All of these steps reflect our desire to advance a balanced and responsible social policy alongside the state of Israel’s impressive economic ability.
I would like to commend Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Eyal Gabai for being involved in all of these issues, as well as in their implementation. In the end, all of these ministries must be linked to each other and Eyal, you are worthy of all praise for your part in this important effort."
2. Pursuant to Article 12 of the 2010 Bank of Israel Law, the Cabinet set guidelines for the salaries and conditions of the Governor and Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel.
3. Pursuant to Articles 8a and 10b of the 2010 Bank of Israel Law, and in accordance with the recommendation of Bank of Israel Governor Prof. Stanley Fischer, the Cabinet appointed Dr. Karnit Flug as Deputy Governor of the Bank of Israel.
4. The Cabinet approved draft legislation on the electronic monitoring of persons released on bail and those conditionally released from prison and authorized the Ministerial Committee on Legislation to approve the final draft.
5. The Cabinet approved draft amendments to the 2011 State Service Law (pensions) and authorized the Ministerial Committee on Legislation to approve the final draft.
6. The Cabinet appointed a ministerial committee, to be chaired by Justice Minister Prof. Yaakov Neeman, to decide – on behalf of the Cabinet – on an appeal against the Ministerial Committee on Legislation’s 23 May 2011 decision regarding draft anti-terrorism legislation.
7. In continuation of its 19 December 2010 decision, the Cabinet discussed the allocation of IDF soldiers doing their compulsory service to bodies and units outside the IDF.
8. The Cabinet discussed the allocation of balancing grants to local and regional councils.
9. The Cabinet decided to expand the economic sanctions against Iran, in continuation of the recommendations of the Government committee that was established for this purpose.
10. The Cabinet today unanimously approved the expansion of free dental care – in the health services basket – to children up to age 10.
11. In continuation of its 13 December 2009 decision, the Cabinet decided to extend financial assistance in 2011 to community centers in areas near the border and in towns under threat, which have become caught up in severe economic difficulties.
12. In continuation of its 5 June 2011 decision, the Cabinet decided on a list of communities that will be declared national preference communities in order to advance the following goals: a) To ease the housing distress of many residents of the country, especially those without housing who are eligible under Construction and Housing Ministry guidelines, to purchase apartments in the communities; b) To encourage positive migration to the communities; c) To encourage construction in the communities and d) To economically strengthen the communities.