On Monday the Knesset Finance Committee approved a special assistance program for exporters as part of the effort to increase Israeli exports to developing countries, with a focus on China and other Southeast Asian countries. As part of the program, in 2015 there will be a $500 million increase in state guarantees for exports to these countries. In 2016 an additional $300 million will be added. ”The Finance Committee sees a great importance in strengthening Israeli exports, one of the most important engines of growth in the market, said the chairman of the Finance Committee, MK Nissan Slomiansky (HaBayit HaYehudi).
On Wednesday State Control Committee Chairman Amnon Cohen (Shas) warned that the Israel Electric Corporation is ”collapsing due to the extra benefits for its employees, and it will soon fall into a budgetary hole which it dug for itself.” According to him, the IEC wants to raise prices for consumers ”without cutting unnecessary expenses.”
Zvi Vertikovsky, deputy director general in the State Comptroller`s office, said the report on the IEC is ”one of the most severe the Comptroller has published in decades,” adding that ”senior employees receive funds illegally.”
MK Miri Regev (Likud-Yisrael Beitenu), chairwoman of the Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee, called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to release ”Arab or Jewish security prisoners.”
”Should the Israeli government decide to release murderers after all, then the right thing to do would be to release Jewish murderers whose murders were (nationalistically-motivated),” she said Wednesday. ”Also, the US should release Jonathan Pollard. I call on the prime minister not to release security prisoners as a gesture to Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas), who stopped being a partner for peace long ago.”
Also this week, the State Control Committee said that during the peace talks with the Palestinians the State of Israel has ignored the law by not discussing compensation for hundreds of thousands of Jews who were expelled from Arab countries.
”We must remember our brothers, those who came from Arab lands and did not receive anything in exchange for properties worth millions of dollars that they were forced to abandon after being deported,” Committee Chairman Cohen said.
On Wednesday Interior Minister Gideon Sa`ar (Likud-Yisrael Beitenu) met with members of the Knesset Internal Affairs Committee to review the implementation of the Law for the Prevention of Infiltration, 100 days after it was enacted.
During his review Minister Sa`ar said that despite what was said in the midterm summary, the law should be thought of as a success. He said that together with incentives and enforcement of additional legislation there has been a shift in the trend of the number of infiltrators who are willingly leaving Israel, while pointing out that in the first quarter of 2014 about 4000 refugees left the country willingly, in comparison to 825 who left in the last quarter of 2013. The monetary incentive given to infiltrators who leave voluntarily has been raised from $1,500 to $3,500. The minister said that he is leaning towards extending the incentive for another three months.