Prime Minister Netanyahu commended the IDF and the security and intelligence services for the successful operation over the weekend against the terrorist organizations based in the Gaza Strip.
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 11 March 2012):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
Last Friday, an arch-terrorist who organized many attacks against the State of Israel was eliminated. He was in the midst of planning another attack that was directed at our southern border with Egypt. We are still on alert regarding the attack and I have ordered the closure of the road on the Egyptian border.
But there is no doubt that IDF operations have disrupted the organizing for the attack; of course, time will tell to what extent. Naturally, this led to another round with the Popular Resistance Committees, Islamic Jihad and other groups. We are still in the midst of this round. The IDF is striking at them in strength. I would like to commend this operation and the security and intelligence security and intelligence services. We have exacted from them a very high price; naturally, we will act as necessary.
I must also point out that the Iron Dome system has proven itself very well and we will, of course, see to its expansion in the months and years ahead. We will do everything in our power to expand the deployment of this system. n the end, the strongest force at our disposal is the fortitude of the residents, of the council heads, of Israelis and of the Government. We are taking the necessary defensive and aggressive measures and I have no doubt that with this combination, along with the necessary fortitude, we will overcome these terrorist threats around us."
2. Defense Minister Ehud Barak briefed ministers on the chain of events in the south this past weekend. He discussed the targeted elimination that was carried out by the IDF, presented data on the number of rockets and missiles that have been fired from the Gaza Strip at our communities, and referred to both the IDF response and the performance of the Iron Dome system.
3. Prime Minister Netanyahu briefed ministers on his visit to Canada and the US and noted that the Iranian nuclear issue was at the focus of his meetings. He added that in his contacts with US administration officials, he had reiterated Israel’s right to defend itself if it comes under threat. He also discussed the broad support for Israel in the US, including in administration circles, in Congress and at the AIPAC Policy Conference. The Prime Minister also briefed ministers on issues related to recent developments in the Middle East.
4. Pursuant to Article 23 of the 1959 State Service Law and in accordance with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz’s recommendation, the Cabinet appointed Carmela Avner to be responsible for Government computerization at the Finance Ministry.
5. The Cabinet also approved the following Foreign Service appointments:
- Yigal Baruch Caspi, as Ambassador to Switzerland and non-resident Ambassador to Liechtenstein;
- Belaynesh Zevadia, as Ambassador to Ethiopia and non-resident Ambassador to Burundi and Rwanda; and
- David Walzer as Ambassador to the European Union institutions in Brussels.
6. The Cabinet approved amendments to the pension provisions of the 2012 State Service Law and authorized the Ministerial Committee on Legislation to approve its final draft.
7. The Cabinet approved the Ministerial Committee on Legislation’s 4.3.12 decision regarding amendments to the draft 2012 Electricity Law.
8. The Cabinet discussed the extension of the declaration of a state of emergency and decided to propose that the Knesset declare a state of emergency, in accordance with Article 38 of Basic Law: The Government, for a period of one year, in continuation of its previous (25 May 2011) declaration.
9. The Cabinet approved an experimental plan to assist financially distressed factories in the periphery. The plan is designed to prevent the dismissal of workers and to assist local economies. In the first stage, Hatzor Haglilit, Katzrin and Yerucham will enjoy assistance under the plan. The Pri Hagalil plant [in Hatzor Haglilit] will be the first to enter the plan.
10. The Cabinet marked International Women’s Day and approved a plan to increase the participation of women in local administration.
11. Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat, who chaired an inter-ministerial team on preventing the exclusion of women in the public sphere, briefed the Cabinet on its recommendations.