(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 25 April 2004:

1. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon praised recent counter-terrorist actions by the security forces and personally, and on behalf of the Cabinet, thanked the various branches of the security forces for the special efforts they have made, especially during the week of Independence Day, to foil and prevent terrorist attacks.

2. Prime Minister Sharon sent his and the Cabinet’s warmest greetings to Israel’s Druze citizens on the occasion of today’s Nebi Shueib festivities. He noted that Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel’s Wars and Victims of Terrorist Acts begins this evening and said that the proximity of the dates gives symbolic expression to the courageous link between the Druze community and the State of Israel.

3. The Cabinet approved the appointment of Ilan Cohen as Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office, to succeed Avigdor Yitzhaki, effective 2 May 2004.

The Cabinet approved the following ambassadorial appointments: Tzipora Rimon – Ambassador to Brazil, Rafael Eldad – Ambassador to Argentina, Zvi Cohen-Litant – Ambassador to Cyprus, David Admon – Ambassador to Hungary, and Boaz Bismuth – Ambassador to Mauritania.

4. The Cabinet decided to approve a tax reduction for low – and middle-income earners and a gradual reduction in corporate taxes, and to authorize the Ministerial Committee on Legislation to discuss on behalf of the Cabinet a draft law to this effect.

This move is designed to aid the acceleration of economic growth in Israel, encourage demand, reduce high gaps in income distribution, and encourage employment and investment.