(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly cabinet meeting today (Sunday), August 10, 2003:
1. Chief-of-General-Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya’alon briefed ministers on security events of the past few days. The Chief-of-Staff said that Israel has noted Hizbullah’s attempt to heat up Israel’s northern border and added that Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s speech in Jibsheit attested to the organization’s plight given the fact that while Palestinian prisoners are being released, his organization has not succeeded in procuring the release of any Lebanese prisoners. Hizbullah attacked IDF positions on Mt. Dov last Friday with mortars and anti-tank rockets. The IDF was prepared for the attack. The Chief-of-Staff said that given the situation in the north, the IDF was prepared for the possibility that the attempted attacks would continue.
Regarding the Palestinian sphere, the Chief-of-Staff said that last Friday morning, the IDF arrested fugitives in Nablus and other places in Judea and Samaria under Israel’s security control. The action was carried out against those organizations that have engaged in concrete, immediate attacks or that has been involved in manufacturing bombs and Kassam rockets.
Chief-of-Staff Ya’alon also briefed ministers on IDF actions in the Gaza Strip. He noted that the Palestinian authority could show greater determination and be more effective in acting against and dismantling the terrorist organizations. He added that the Palestinian street does not support a return to terror.
Israel’s response to the situation which has been created in recent days in Judea, Samaria and Gaza is to continue counter-terrorist operations and arrests in the areas under its control, while gradually easing restrictions on the Palestinian population in places where this is warranted by the security situation.
Prime Minister Ariel Sharon responded to ministers’ comments on the Chief-of-Staff’s remarks and said that there would be no move forward on implementing the issue of a provisional Palestinian state before the Palestinians have fully and completely carried out their binding commitments. This has been made very clear.
2. Science and Technology Minister Eliezer Sandberg briefed ministers on the agreements that have been signed with the Canadian and Indian space agencies.