The operation to seize the Iranian weapons ship had two goals: Preventing the delivery of deadly weapons to terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, which would have directly endangered Israel’s citizens, and exposing the true face of Iran.

 Cabinet communique

 

Copyright: GPO

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 9 March 2014):

1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:

"The Iranian weapons ship reached Israel last night. The operation to seize the ship had two goals: Preventing the delivery of deadly weapons to terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip, which would have directly endangered Israel’s citizens, and exposing the true face of Iran, which was behind this weapons shipment. Iran completely denies its involvement; it is lying in the most brazen manner. We will present evidence of this tomorrow and later.

I call this to the attention of Catherine Ashton, who is now visiting Tehran. I would like to ask her if she asked her Iranian hosts about this shipment of weapons for terrorist organizations, and if not, why not. Nobody has the right to ignore the true and murderous actions of the regime in Tehran. I think that it would be proper for the international community to refer to Iran’s true policy, not its propaganda.

Today we are marking International Women’s Day. We are proud that around this table are seven women director generals of government ministries. This is a record number. While there has certainly been a change in the trend here, we would like to see it continue to expand. I say this because I think that the gaps that still exist in employing women, as well as in women’s salaries, are damaging in two ways: The first is a moral issue. There is no justification for this discrimination. Second is the socio-economic issue. We can certainly improve the Israeli economy by giving qualified and experienced women – and there are many – the chance to take up key positions in Israeli society and in the Israeli economy. I hope that what we are doing year round will advance this goal, which is good not only for Israeli women but for all Israelis."

2. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon briefed ministers on the events leading up to the seizure of the Iranian weapons ship last Wednesday, 5 March 2014, including the intelligence regarding the weapons shipment which was destined for the Gaza Strip, the actual seizure and its arrival in Eilat.

Prime Minister Netanyahu praised the actions of the intelligence services and the Navy.

3. Pursuant to Article 3b of the 1998 Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women Law, as well as its 7 September 2008 and its 8 February 2009 decisions, the Cabinet decided to extend Vered Sweid’s term as Director of the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women for an additional two years, beginning 1 February 2014.

4. The Cabinet marked International Women’s Day. Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women Sweid briefed ministers on the advancement of women in the public sector. Ministerial Committee on the Advancement of the Status of Women Chairperson Limor Livnat presented the main findings of the recent State Comptroller’s report ahead of International Women’s Day and noted that the main theme of Israel’s upcoming 66th Independence Day would be "Women’s time – Achievements and Challenges."

5. Communications Minister Gilad Erdan and Communications Ministry Director General Avi Berger briefed ministers on the activities of their ministry.