Jerusalem, 2 June 2002

Cabinet Communique
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), June 2, 2002:

1. Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and the Director of the Defense Ministry Satellite Authority briefed ministers on last Tuesday’s successful launch of the Ofeq-5. The Defense Minister noted that the satellite is among the most advanced in the world, the fruit of an extraordinary technological effort by the IAI and other security industries, and is designed to carry out important national missions and contribute to the strengthening of Israel’s deterrent ability.

The Director of the Defense Ministry Satellite Authority briefed ministers on details of the Ofeq-5 and its capabilities and showed a film of the satellite’s launch.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon thanked the Director of the Defense Ministry Satellite Authority and all those who were involved in, and contributed to, the construction of the Ofeq-5 and its launch, and remarked on the importance of the Ofeq-5.

2. ISA Director Avi Dichter presented ministers with an assessment of the security situation since Operation Defensive Shield, and related to the scope of the attacks which have occurred and the casualties they produced, and the scope of the attacks which have been prevented by the security forces. The ISA Director commented on current warnings of attacks by all of the Palestinian organizations, with Fatah at their lead.

ISA Director Dichter remarked on the issues related to the projected reforms in the Palestinian Authority, briefed ministers on the Jewish cell which attempted to perpetrate a serious attack near an Arab school, and commented on the detention of a woman who pretended to be Marina Pinski. The ISA Director regretted the publication of Ms. Pinski’s name, she not being connected to the attack in Rishon Lezion, and said that the ISA is investigating the incident.

Prime Minister Sharon, in commenting on ISA Director Dichter’s review, referred to the absence of Palestinian counter-terrorist efforts and added that responsibility for Israel’s security is on Israel alone.

3. The Cabinet approved Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer’s recommendation that a Nahal outpost be established in the Iron area and authorized the Defense Minister to implement his recommendation. The Cabinet charged the World Zionist Organization Settlement Division with responsibility for planning and establishing the outpost.

The establishment of the outpost answers the settlement needs of the Iron area and Samaria and strengthens the communities in the seam zone.