Jerusalem, 5 May 1999

Cabinet Communique

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the Cabinet meeting today (Wednesday), 5.5.98:

1. The Cabinet unanimously decided to grant financial assistance to farmers, due to the cutback in this year’s water quotas.

2. The financial assistance will be based on principles similar to those applied in 1991, when assistance was also offered in response to reduced quotas.

3. All farmers whose agriculture-related income has comprised at least 30% of their total income in recent years, and whose agriculture-related income has been adversely affected by at least 15%, will be considered eligible for assistance.

4. The level of assistance will be determined based on normative earnings per cubic meter of water which ranges from NIS 0.70 to NIS 2.

5. i) As stated in the Water Law, assistance will not be offered except for refunded expenses, at a rate of 25% of normative earnings for a 25% reduction in water quotas.

ii) Assistance at a rate of 70% for any quota reduction beyond 25%.

6. The assistance, in total, will not exceed the sum of NIS 146 million.