(Communicated by Cabinet Secretariat) August 16, 1996

At its weekly meeting today (Friday), 16.08.96:

1. At the start of the meeting, the Cabinet received a security briefing from the Chief-of-Staff. The discussion was held within the framework of section 44 of Basic Law: The Government.

2. The Cabinet approved the proposed Center for the commemoration of the late Yitzhak Rabin, 1996 Law.

The Prime Minister said that the late Yitzhak Rabin was an important figure in the history of the state of Israel. A terrible and abominable murder occurred creating a unique circumstance which requires special commemoration of the memory of the late Yitzhak Rabin.

The goal of the legislation is to commemorate the life work of the late Prime Minister and the tragic circumstances of his death. The previous government decided on the proposed law, and the current government has again approved it.

3. The Cabinet approved the creation of the Council to Reduce Social Gaps and to Combat Poverty.

The Minister of Labor and Social Affairs emphasized the growth of the disparity in society and the exacerbation of the poverty that has developed over recent years due to the policy of the previous government. The new government must halt the process that has taken place in the past few years and work, through the Council, to prevent harm from being caused to the weaker strata.

At the meeting, the Prime Minister said that this is a most important issue for the future of the country. "Two societies" must not be created in Israel, and thus the Government is creating a national Council to continually act on this issue.

Of primary important is the "generation of tomorrow". In the past, governments began with Project Renewal neighborhood rehabilitation, but today the main rehabilitation of the weaker strata must be a rehabilitation of personal capabilities and an equalization of opportunities. It is therefore necessary to work towards training the "generation of tomorrow".

The Prime Minister also reported that he has organized a discussion of an experimental project, for now a "pilot" such that the lower two-tenths of the population in the State of Israel will have personal computers at home. The problem is very complex, from both the educational and social fronts and there is thus a need for constant and protracted efforts in this sphere.

The Prime Minister emphasized as well that the establishment of the Council will not affect the powers of the Ministerial Committee on Social and Welfare Issues, and the Cabinet also decided that the Council’s recommendations will be presented to the Prime Minister and the Ministerial Committee on Social and Welfare Issues.

4. The Cabinet decided to abolish the Authority for National and Economic Planning.

The Prime Minister noted that continued existence of the Authority creates a large measure of duplication. There is an economic leadership in the State of Israel, and this represents a further step toward reducing bureaucracy and governmental expenditures. Economic planning will be carried out within the framework of existing economic frameworks.

5. The Communications Minister informed the Cabinet of the resignation of the Postal Authority Director.

6. The Cabinet approved appointments to the Ports and Railways Authority Council and the Israel Airports Authority Council.