Jerusalem, 27 July 1997


(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 27.7.97:

1. The Cabinet was briefed on security affairs by the Minister of Defense and the Chief-of-Staff.

2. The Cabinet debated the issue of the construction at Ras al-Amud. The Prime Minister said that Israel is building in Jerusalem, including Har Homa. We are acting to confirm our sovereignty throughout the city, and are strengthening our security presence in the city. No one should delude themselves that we are changing our policy in any way. The Attorney- General will examine the matter. It is clear that we are not interested in implementing the construction at Ras al-Amud at his time. The Prime Minister added that the decision to establish a new neighborhood in Jerusalem must be in accordance with government policy. This was not done and now is not the time to build at Ras al-Amud.

Most of the ministers who discussed the issue criticized the Jerusalem Municipality for making a decision on this matter without prior consultation with the government, and supported the Prime Minister’s stand not to build at Ras al-Amud at this time.

3. The Foreign Minister briefed the Cabinet on his meeting in Brussels. He emphasized that at all the meetings he held, he stressed that Israel is striving for peace while protecting its interests. The Foreign Minister also said that peace cannot remain only on paper, the atmosphere must be changed, and the Palestinian Authority must prevent violence and halt incitement.

The Foreign Minister said that there is no place for the Palestinians to conduct a struggle against Israel in international forums. According to the Foreign Minister, Israel will not be coerced into doing things which are not for its benefit and security. The Palestinian Authority must live up to its commitments, fight terrorism and prevent violence and incitement.

4. The Cabinet approved the following appointments: Tzvi Shalom as Chairman of the Airports Authority Council, Avi Kostellitz as Director-General of the Airports Authority, of Yoav Armoni as Director of the Fuel Administration at the National Infrastructure Ministry, and Ayelet Kalai, as a member of the Airports Authority Council representing state employees.

5. The Cabinet began its discussion on the 1998 draft budget. The discussion opened with a Finance Ministry survey of the implementation of the 1996 budget.