Jerusalem, 20 July 1997

CABINET COMMUNIQUE

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 20.7.95:

1. At the opening of the meeting the Prime Minister congratulated the GSS on the intelligence efforts and successful operation which led to the arrests of the Palestinian policemen involved in terrorist activities, and foiled planned terrorist attacks.

A number of Ministers raised the issue of the severity of the Palestinian violations of the Interim Agreement.

The Defense Minister praised the GSS for its operations, and stressed that it is now vital that the Palestinian Authority deal effectively with all those involved in the terrorist cell, so that events of this kind will not take place in the future.

The Prime Minister said that the apprehension of the Palestinian policemen involved in terror attacks is the clearest violation yet of the agreements with the Palestinians. The Palestinian police was brought into the area in order to fight terrorism, not to carry out acts of terror itself. The Palestinian Authority must root out this phenomenon. He said that Israel is making available all the necessary information to enable them to take action, and demanded that the Palestinian Authority fulfill its obligations according to the agreement in the area of security and in other areas, so as to make possible the continuation of the negotiating process.

The Foreign Minister reported on his upcoming visit to Brussels for a discussion on co-operation with the European Community.

The Foreign Minister stressed that Israel is standing firm on its insistence that the Palestinian Authority fulfill its obligations in practice, and not only verbally.

2. The Tourism Minister and officials of his office reviewed the activities of the Ministry of Tourism. The Minister proposed, among other things, the declaration of the year 2000 as a national project in the area of tourism. He stressed the importance of tourism in promoting Israel’s image throughout the world.

The Prime Minister requested that the Tourism and Finance Ministers initiate a new strategic direction for the promotion of tourism to Israel.

3. The government instructed the Ministerial Committee on Legislation and Law enforcement to permit the drafting of a law on prosecutions resulting from operations of the security forces in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, and the drafting of a Security Forces Law which will extend and perhaps broaden the existing arrangement on the question of conscript soldiers serving in units of the Israel Police.

4. The Trade and Industry Minister, and the Deputy Minister for Education, Sport and Culture spoke before the Cabinet on the matter of the bridge that collapsed at the opening of the 15th Maccabiah. The discussion touched on the issues of standardization, the work of the investigatory committee and the situation of those injured.