Jerusalem, 17 February 2002

Cabinet Communique
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), February 17, 2002:

1. The Cabinet marked the 10th anniversary of the death of the late former Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon recounted some of the highlights and achievements of the late Prime Minister’s life.

2. Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer briefed the Cabinet on recent security incidents and noted, among other things, the recent trend of escalation in the confrontation with the Palestinians which has led to the death of nine Israelis in deadly attacks in the last week, and the wounding of many more.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer reported on the attacks that took place over the past few days emphasizing that the Palestinians have reached a situation in which the terrorist organizations are competing amongst themselves to perpetrate as many attacks as possible while Arafat and the PA do almost nothing to halt the escalation.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer said that in light of the increasing wave of terror, Israel’s security forces have carried out a series of military ground actions for the purpose of prevention, disruption and deterrence.

3. In accordance with Basic Law: The President of the State (Paragraph 18) the Cabinet authorized the departure of President Moshe Katsav on a state visit to Mexico and Canada.

4. The Cabinet decided, upon the recommendation of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, that the quota for foreign workers in the agricultural sector for the year 2002 will be 28,000.