(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 31 December 2006:

1. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert eulogized former US President Gerald Ford and former Israeli soccer goalkeeper Yaakov Khodorov, who passed away last week and this morning, respectively.

“Former US President Gerald Ford passed away last week. The Government of Israel sends its condolences to the American people, to US President George Bush and to the Ford family,” the Prime Minister said. He noted that he asked Vice Premier Shimon Peres, who knew President Ford personally, to lead the Israeli delegation to the funeral.

Regarding the passing of Yaakov Khodorov, Prime Minister Olmert said, “This morning, Yaakov Khodorov passed away.  He was the State of Israel’s first goalkeeper and won the Israel Prize last year. He was the childhood hero of many of us, one of the State of Israel’s greatest sportsmen ever, a modest man, a great patriot and a lover of Israel – he fought a difficult disease over the past year and the Government of Israel mourns his passing.”

Prime Minister Olmert noted that “Today is the Tenth of [the Hebrew month of] Tevet, the traditional date on which the [Babylonian] siege of Jerusalem began. It has also been designated as the general kaddish [prayer] day [for those who perished in the Holocaust and whose date of death is unknown]. We mark this day with fasting and ceremonies.”

2. The Cabinet made decisions regarding the Ziler State Commission of Inquiry Report regarding the safety of structures and places that serve the public and the professional recommendations that were submitted on 15 March 2005 by the steering committee on implementing the report.

3. Pursuant to the 1977 Airports Authority Law, the Cabinet approved Transportation and Road Safety Minister Shaul Mofaz’s appointment of Ariela Terner as a public representative on the Airports Authority Council, in place Ora Gilad, whose term is expiring.

4. Pursuant to the 1959 Water Law, the Cabinet approved the appointment of Meir Liani and Shmaryahu Biran as members of the Water Council.

5. Pursuant to the 1959 Civil Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet appointed Yehoshua Vita as Finance Ministry Director of State Revenue in place of Meir Kaputa, as of 1 February 2007.

6. Pursuant to the 1980 Second Authority for Television and Radio Law, the Cabinet approved Communications Minister Ariel Atias’s appointment of Yossi Elituv and attorney Michael Aviram as members of the Second Authority for Television and Radio Law Council.

7. The Cabinet discussed the issue of land allocation for residential purposes in the Galilee.

8. The Cabinet discussed issues regarding industrial purchasing.

9. The Cabinet discussed the granting of an extra civil service grade to retiring civil servants.

10. The Cabinet discussed assistance to a network of independent schools.

11. The Cabinet approved Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson’s and Construction and Housing Minister Meir Shetrit’s proposal regarding Government purchasing.