The Cabinet approved a plan to develop the Castel site during the week marking the 16th anniversary of the murder of Yitzhak Rabin.

 Cabinet communique

 

Israel Cabniet meeting (Reuters archive photo)

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 6 November 2011:

1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:

"Sixteen years have passed since that awful day when Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was murdered. Today, we will approve the development of the Castel, the national site near the entrance to Jerusalem, as part of Rabin Park. We are doing this in deep appreciation foe the generation of 1948 and the heritage of Yitzhak Rabin, and in appreciation for the central rule he played in the struggle to lift the siege of Jerusalem.

I would like to thank Keren Hayesod leaders Eliezer Sandberg and Johanna Arbib for personally joining in the effort to advance this joint project. If I am not mistaken, this is the first time that we are cooperating with Keren Hayesod on a heritage project. This is the first time that they have given money to this project, if one may speak frankly. I know that this will be a sign for similar cooperation on additional projects. I think that this is important. You know the importance that this Government and I attribute to these projects, which enshrine the history of the Jewish people both in ancient times and since the rise of Zionism, and there is nothing like these sites, like these places, to underscore this idea of connecting young Israelis with their past and thus build up their future here.

I now appeal to the leaders of the Histadrut and call on them to cancel the planned strike. I believe that it is possible to find a just and responsible solution to the question of contract workers. Just – because we are all aware of the genuine plight of the contract workers. Responsible – because we must bring a solution that will not harm the Israeli economy, at a time that we are witnessing the upheaval of world markets.

I believe that there is no need to disrupt Israelis’ lives or to cause heavy damage to the Israeli economy. My government and the Histadrut see eye-to-eye on the good of Israel’s workers. This is not mere talk. We can attest to the many steps that we have carried out – Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Histadrut Chairman Ofer Eini, with my backing – in order to improve workers’ salaries. I think that, given the major upheaval in the European economy, the Israeli economy is continuing to grow thanks to our responsible and sagacious conduct, and we must not endanger what we have achieved only with great effort. Therefore, we must resolve the problem, we want to resolve the problem, we can resolve the problem, but in a responsible, cooperative way. There is no need for a strike.

I would like to take this opportunity to greet our Muslim and Druze brothers on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, which marks the start of Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. On behalf of the Government and the citizens of Israel, I bid the pilgrims carry with them a message of peace."

2. The Cabinet approved a NIS 5 million plan to develop the Castel site. The decision was made during the week in which the 16th anniversary of the murder of Yitzhak Rabin will be marked. According to the plan, infrastructures for visitors at the Castel National Park will be renovated and upgraded; hiking trails, overlooks at picnic spots will be developed. The sound-and-light show at the site, as well as guided programs will be revamped. An overnight campground, the only one its kind in the area, will be established.

3. The Cabinet discussed the issue of local water and sewage companies.

4. Religious Services Minister Yaakov Margi and Religious Services Ministry Director-General Avigdor Ohana briefed the Cabinet on the activities of their ministry.