Jerusalem, 17 December 2000

Decisions Made at Today’s Cabinet Meeting
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting this morning (Sunday), 17.12.2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak announced the following decisions:

1) To either reduce interest rates on mortgages or significantly increase mortgage subsidies.

2) To allow the entry of foreign workers for the construction and agriculture sectors. The number of workers and the duration of their work will be set in consultation with the Labor and Social Welfare Minister, the Construction and Housing Minister, and the Finance Minister.

3) In light of the security situation, the Prime Minister approved a plan for bullet-proofing buses and transport vans for schoolchildren throughout Judea, Samaria and Gaza in order to assist residents in maintaining normal daily life and security. This expenditure is in addition to the NIS 75 million in municipal and security assistance for Judea, Samaria and Gaza that has already been approved.

4) The Prime Minister praised both the stamina of the residents of Gilo and the dedicated work of the Jerusalem municipality and the IDF Home Front Command. The Prime Minister has sought to hasten the implementation of the government’s decisions from last week regarding bullet-proofing in Gilo.

5) Regarding the plan for the Israeli Arab sector, the Prime Minister said that this was a good and important plan for promoting development in the Arab sector as the Government has promised. The Prime Minister has requested that the implementation of the plan not be delayed.