| Jerusalem, 19 August 2001
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the special Cabinet meeting on Jerusalem today (Tuesday), 21.8.2001:
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made the following remarks to open the meeting: "We are dealing with Jeruslaem, the capital of the Jewish people for the past 3000 years, the eternally united and undivisible capital of the State of Israel, with the Temple Mount at its center. We must make the effort to strengthen Jerusalem. We have taken action to restore Israel’s full sovereignty over Jerusalem by halting the Palestinian Authority’s activities there, and that action, which we of course will continue, must be supported and strengthened by further actions, both in the eastern part of the city and the western, and all this is done for the prosperity of Jerusalem as a united city."
The Cabinet approved Prime Minister Sharon’s proposal to transfer an additional NIS 200 million to strengthen Jerusalem in the year 2001, with the money being earmarked for infrastructure, transportation, construction and housing, internal issues and tourism.
Following the discussion the following decisions were taken:
The grant meant for the development of Jerusalem for the year 2001 will be increased by a further NIS 60 million. The increase is designed – inter alia – to fund essential activities undertaken by the Jerusalem Municipality.
The multi-year plan for the development of infrastructure and public services in eastern Jerusalem will be accelerated, with the aim of reaching equality in the level of infrastructure and public services between eastern Jerusalem and western Jerusalem. In order to promote this plan, NIS 40 million will be made available from the Construction and Housing Ministry’s 2001 budget, and NIS 25 million will be made available from the Transportation Ministry’s budget.
Budgets earmarked for developing and reinforcing tourism infrastructure will be increased by transferring 10 million NIS from the Tourism Ministry’s 2001 budget. These funds will be disbursed by the Government Tourism Company.
The government will add NIS 10 million to the Jerusalem Municipality’s budget for education and culture for 2001. The budgetary source for the enlargement of educational and cultural activities in Jerusalem is the Education Ministry’s 2001 budget by means of a designated disbursement to the Jerusalem Educational Authority.
The Finance Ministry will add to the Education Ministry 2001 budget authorisation to commit to building 110 new classrooms, at the expense of the quota of classrooms that are meant to be built in 2002. These class rooms will be allocated to the city of Jerusalem. The amount of the budgetary authorisation will be approximately NIS 55 million.
Prime Minister Sharon decided that the subject will be reviewed by the Cabinet once more towards the end of the year.
Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert attended the Cabinet meeting and thanked Prime Minister Sharon and the other ministers for the above decisions.