Cabinet Communique

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
Jerusalem, 10 January 1999

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 10.1.99:

1. The Prime Minister took note of press reports according to which Egypt has recommended that Arafat not declare a Palestinian state, with its capital in Jerusalem, before the elections in Israel. The Prime Minister said that these reports come against the established backdrop of Israeli policy. Certain circles in Egypt know that such a declaration by Arafat would be met with a firm response by the Government of Israel — and these circles may hope for a change of government in Israel, on the assumption that Arafat will then be able to create a Palestinian state and divide Jerusalem without any serious Israeli opposition. It is important for the Israeli public to be aware of these intentions.

The Prime Minister reiterated that the Cabinet intends to implement its decision concerning Israel’s response to a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood or the division of Jerusalem. Israel reserves the right to extend Israeli law to the territories under its control if Arafat and the Palestinians violate the agreements they have signed and unilaterally declare the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The Prime Minister added that this issue will be our primary concern in the near future, as it relates to the fate of the State of Israel and the future of coming generations. "We will not allow Arafat and the Palestinians to determine the borders of our state and the future of our capital. We will continue to adhere to our firm and clear policy, which does not allow for the creation of a Palestinian state in the heart of the Land of Israel, and we will not allow Jerusalem to be redivided."

2. The Cabinet decided to propose that the Knesset renew its declared state of emergency, in accordance with Article 49 of Basic Law: The Government, for one year — to follow the 20.5.98 Knesset declaration of a state of emergency. According to Basic Law: The Government, a declared state of emergency cannot continue for longer than one year, and its expiration is liable to cause great damage to national and public security, and to the economy.

3. The Cabinet decided to work for the rehabilitation and preservation of the Acre Prison compound as a museum and memorial — in memory of the fallen and as a national, educational site dedicated to recounting the annals of Israel’s rebirth.

4. The Cabinet approved the recommendations of the inter-ministerial committee on assistance to communities affected by the Carmel fire.

5. The Cabinet also approved a NIS 115 million addition of health services to the "basket" of Government-funded health services. This supplement comes in the wake of the Cabinet decision to allocate an additional NIS 150 million for health services during the 1999 budget year.

6. The Cabinet approved the 1999 Israel Broadcasting Authority budget, to consist of IBA revenues, but not to exceed NIS 756.7 million.