(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 6 August 2006:

1. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made the following remarks:

"Over the weekend, the Socio-Economic Cabinet decided to reinforce local authorities in the north with another NIS 100 million; this is in addition to the NIS 50 million that has already been transferred. Formal approval by the Knesset Finance Committee will be given tomorrow; on Tuesday morning, the funds will be transferred to local communities in the north as part of the Government’s effort to deal with the distress that has resulted from the current reality. In the coming days, I intend to appoint a national task force to prepare – within a very short period – a national reconstruction plan for areas that have been under attack recently; this will enable us to respond with all possible speed."

Prime Minister Olmert also the UN discussions. He noted that a special inter-ministerial task force has been holding contacts in recent days with both American and European diplomats on the expected UN Security Council decision which is expected to ultimately lead to a permanent ceasefire, the formation of a multi-national force and the disarming of Hizbullah, i.e. the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1559.

2. GOC Intelligence Maj.-Gen. Amos Yedlin, GOC Operations Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eizenkrot, GOC Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Yitzhak Gershon and the Deputy Director of the ISA briefed ministers on the fighting in the north and the south.

3. Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson and Interior Minister Ronni Bar-On briefed ministers on the actions of the various ministries in the north and on agreements and arrangements that have been made regarding the disbursement of NIS 100 million to local authorities in the north. 

Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Ra’anan Dinur briefed ministers on the situation regarding civil servants reporting for work in Haifa and the north, the functioning of the local authorities, the level of medical and banking services on the home front, the resolve and resiliency of the home front and the number of factories that have been directed to remain open.

4. Pursuant to its authority under the 1959 Civil Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet appointed Erez Halfon as Director-General of the Immigrant Absorption Ministry, effective 1 September 2006, in place of Mirla Gal.

5. Pursuant to its authority under the 1989 Natural Disaster Victim Compensation Law, the Cabinet declared the 3 February 2006 floods that occurred in the Eilot region and in the city of Eilat to have been a natural disaster.

6. The Cabinet discussed the transfer of information from the criminal registry to the management of the commercial ports of Haifa, Ashdod and Eilat in order to prevent the employment of hostile elements at these important national assets.