Jerusalem, 30 June 2002

Cabinet Communique
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), June 30, 2002:

1. Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer briefed the Cabinet on current security matters and pointed out that Operation ‘Determined Path’ was, last week, characterized by action and a sustained IDF presence in the Palestinian cities throughout Judea and Samaria with the goal of stopping the wave of terror.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer stressed that the IDF is maintaining a sustained presence in the cities of Judea and Samaria and noted that there has been success in braking the wave of terror in Israel and the territories.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer said that the IDF presence in the cities has led to the disruption of the ability to perpetrate attacks and is enabling Israel to gather information and concentrate on counter-terrorist actions. To disrupt the wave of terror, the Defense Minister added that Israel has been compelled to put a curfew on the cities. The defense establishment is now gradually lifting the curfew.

Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer emphasized that Israel has no intention of establishing a military administration and added that he has directed the IDF and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories to make every effort to ease restrictions on the civilian population and meet its daily needs.

In addition to blocking terror, the IDF also detained fugitives last week and dealt with the infrastructures of terror.

2. Following the Ministerial Committee on Legislation’s decision to support MK Michael Kleiner’s proposed amendments to the Law of Return (regarding the benefits due to family members of Jews), Minister Natan Sharansky submitted a motion to the Cabinet and said that given the special efforts being made to increase aliyah to Israel, the mere discussion of amending the Law of Return would lead to rifts between Jews in Israel and those in the Diaspora. Accordingly, Minister Sharansky requested that the Cabinet change the ministerial Committee on Legislation’s decision.

The Cabinet decided to support Minister Sharansky’s motion and oppose MK Kleiner’s proposals.

3. The Cabinet discussed the proposals by Transportation Minister Ephraim Sneh and Finance Minister Silvan Shalom regarding charter flights to the US and decided to approve the former’s proposal that the Israir company be allowed to operate weekly charter flights to the US (except for New York, Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles) during the 2002 summer season.

4. The Cabinet discussed the international criminal court and decided not to join it.