(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat) 22 November 1996
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Friday), 22.11.96:
1. During the meeting, the prime minister stated that Israel is standing by its promise [to guarantee] the security needs in the framework of the Hebron agreement. The prime minister called upon the ministers to strengthen the government’s position in the negotiations and stated that complaints that the agreement being formulated is worse than its predecessor are false. The agreement being formulated includes details and provisions which strengthen the security of the Jewish community in Hebron and secure the holy sites there. The prime minister said that the one- sided announcement by the Palestinian Authority on the establishment of a state is a breach of the agreement, and a serious mistake on its part, and that we are prepared for this possibility.
2. The cabinet decided on a series of actions on the preparation and implementation of events for marking 50 years [since the establishment] of the State of Israel, beginning with the setting up of a public council, oversight committee and non-profit association which will plan and carry out the jubilee celebration. The Ministerial Committee for Symbols and Ceremonies, headed by the Minister of Toursim will for purposes of the jubilee comprise a special ministerial committee, which will convene from time to time under the leadership of the prime minister to consider and approve the jubilee events. The prime minister said that the goal which the State of Israel must set for itself is that the majority of the Jewish people should be in Israel by the end of the coming decade.
The Minister of Tourism stated that the jubilee events should present Israel’s achievements during its years of existence. The Minister of Science and Technology suggested that the jubilee events should deal with creative scientific accomplishments, and the Minister of Agriculture suggested that the jubilee events should deal with the goal of presenting the State of Israel to the entire world as an attractive force.
The Minister of Infrastructure suggested that the events should present Jewish settlement from the days of the [first] immigration in the last century through today. The Foreign Minister stated that the jubilee events are an historic point in our national development and emphasis must be placed on Israel’s having become an international center and, therefore, this idea should be the center of the jubilee events.
3. The Cabinet ratified agreements establishing free trade areas with the Caech Republic and Slovokia.
4. The Cabinet decided that it will not expand the powers given to the Commission of Inquiry on the Disappearance of Children of Yeminite Immigrants during the years 1948-1954.
The Commission is investigating events which happened to members of different ethnic groups who disappeared in circumstances similar to those of the Yemenite children and the conclusions of the commission will be entirely applicable to all events which will also be brought before it.
5. In accordance with the recommendation of the Foreign Minister the Cabinet decided to give humanitarian aid to the refugees in Rwanda, in co- ordination with UN organizations. The aid will include a 60 ton emergency aid package which will leave within the week in two planes and will be in accordance with the needs which have been set forth by the Rwandan government.
The Cabinet also decided to continue the humanitarian aid through the Foreign Ministry in the spheres of rural construction and medicine for the rehabilitation and settlement of the refugees.
The prime minister emphasized that even in times of financial distress, the decision reflects the humanitarian policies of the state of Israel.