(Communicated by Cabinet Secretariat) October 11, 1996

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Friday), 11.10.96:

1. The Cabinet approved the appointment of Eitan Ben-Tsur as Director- General of the Foreign Ministry.

2.The Cabinet approved the appointments of Joseph Ciechanover and Yael Ortstein to the Bank of Israel’s Advisory Committee and Advisory Council, respectively.

3. The Cabinet approved the Education Minister’s proposal to recognize the Brawde College in Carmiel as an accredited institute of higher education, empowered to award a degree in technology. The Prime Minister noted the importance of encouraging advanced technological training in Israel in order to strengthen the State of Israel’s qualitative advantage.

4. The Cabinet made the Civil Service Commissioner responsible for reducing the size of the public sector work force. The Commissioner will be responsible for identifying units or activities which can be closed or transferred to bodies outside the Civil Service, and for bringing his proposals for the Cabinet’s approval.

This decision supplements an earlier Cabinet decision on this matter from 07.07.96. The Finance Minister clarified that the Cabinet decision does not mean that workers will be dismissed, but that new workers will not be hired.

5. The Cabinet decided, in accordance with the proposal of the Industry and Trade and Finance Ministers, to cancel both the Government guarantees path and the combined path for the encouragement of capital investments, and to create an alternative Government guarantees path to replace the cancelled one.

The Industry and Trade Minister emphasized that all the professionals participating in the public commission created on this matter reached the conclusion that the current path has failed due to shortcomings in loan repayment, which has led to a budgetary increase of NIS 400 million.

A joint staff from the Industry and Trade, and Finance Ministries, and the Prime Minister’s Office will recommend a corrected path for the provision of Government guarantees to be based on the lessons learned from the operation of the previous path.

During the meeting, Foreign Minister David Levy warned about the severe distress at factories in the development towns, and of the need to create a balance between the economic needs and social concerns of weaker strata in the development towns.

The Prime Minister added that the proposal of the Finance and Industry and Trade Ministers will assist a much larger number of factories in the development towns.

6. The Cabinet decided, in accordance with section 18 of Basic Law: The State President, that the President will depart for Egypt with the Government’s approval. The Prime Minister said that the President received an invitation from President Mubarak, and that the Prime Minister gave his consent to the trip.

The Prime Minister said at the meeting that Egypt represents a fundamental building block of the peace between Israel and the Arab countries, and that the President’s trip is part of the Government efforts to improve relations between the two countries. The Prime Minister added that the President would give expression to the Government’s positions during his trip, and to the sentiments and disappointment in Israel with regard to the anti-Israeli propaganda and statements being published in Egypt.