Jerusalem, 9 November 1997

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 9.11.97:

1. Foreign Minister David Levy briefed the Cabinet on his talks with the US administration and Palestinian representatives last week in Washington. He said that the expectations of a crisis and confrontation were not realized. It was not possible to expect that we would return from Washington with an agreement that would settle all outstanding issues. It was agreed that the regular work would continue. The committees will convene soon; the liaison work between the committee heads will continue, without diktat or a crisis.

President Bill Clinton did not refuse to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The item has been blown out of proportion. The Foreign Minister added that in the future, it will be necessary to respond to the two issues which remain in dispute the "time-out" and "the phases."

The Prime Minister expressed his appreciation for the Foreign Minister and the staff which conducted the talks. The Prime Minister emphasized that the clarification of the issues will continue here. The Israeli government retains its position regarding the commencement of negotiations on the permanent settlement. There are differences of opinion on the "time-out" and the settlements; continued clarification will be necessary.

The Prime Minister also said that a date for a meeting between himself and US President Clinton will be set, in coordination between the two countries.

2. Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai briefed the Cabinet on his visit to the US and his meetings with administration and Congressional leaders. He said that he briefed his interlocutors on the expected threats in the Middle East, especially the Iranian threat.

The Defense Minister added that his visit had contributed greatly to the enhancement of ties with the US, and that the issue of Israel’s and the IDF’s needs for the coming decade had been raised.

3. The Labor and Social Affairs Minister and his staff, submitted a ministry master-plan for dealing with children and young people at risk, and violence in the family. The Prime Minister approved the beginning of the implementation of a plan to check the model which has been proposed to deal with the phenomenon.

The Prime Minister said that the intention is in the coming year to double the budget for dealing with children in distress; this is a difficult problem involving battered and defenseless children, and the government must invest resources to deal with it.

4. The Prime Minister asked the ministers and all those involved not to comment on the contents of the Shamgar Commission’s secret report on Avishai Raviv. The Prime Minister emphasized that the GSS does important work in attempting to prevent violent activities, and one must be careful not to harm it. A team headed by the Prime Minister’s Office Legal Advisor is examining the issue of publishing the report; the discussion on the issue of the GSS’s work in this area will be held within the framework of the Ministerial Committee on National Security.