(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon today (Monday), 5 July 2004, chaired a meeting of the Ministerial Committee on the Non-Jewish Sector in order to discuss the multi-year development plan for the Arab sector.  Ministers Ehud Olmert, Limor Livnat, Avraham Poraz, Tzipi Livni, Joseph Paritzky, Gideon Ezra and Uzi Landau, as well as other senior government officials, attended the meeting.

The plan, in which 14 government ministries are taking part, encompasses 73 Arab sector communities (but not the mixed cities of Ramla, Lod, Acre, Haifa and Jerusalem, or the Bedouin and Druze communities, all of which have separate development budgets).

NIS 2.4729 billion – 88% of the amount specified in the plan – has been invested over the past three years in various projects regarding (inter alia) sewage and sanitation, health, education, employment, transportation infrastructure, houses of worship, the provision of religious services for IDF and Israel Police personnel, cemeteries, agriculture, public institutions and law enforcement.

Prime Minister Sharon directed the approval process for projects in the Arab sector be hastened.