(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

Cabinet Secretary Yisrael Maimon has today (Monday), 17 July 2006, released the following statement:

“Pursuant to its authority under the 1951 Civil Defense Law, the Cabinet decided today (Monday), 17 July 2006, to extend Defense Minister Amir Peretz’s 15 July 2006 declaration of a special situation on the home front for five days starting from 15 July 2006, in the areas delineated on the approved map.

The Cabinet will immediately request the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s approval to extend the validity of the aforesaid declaration until such time as decided upon by the Cabinet.

The declaration will be published immediately on radio and television and will be issued as soon as possible to the press and the official gazette.

The Cabinet also decided to establish a team chaired by Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Ra’anan Dinur, and with the participation of the Finance Ministry Budget Division, to find solutions for the local authorities covered by the declaration that have encountered financial difficulties, in order to facilitate the operation of the emergency systems under their responsibility.

The Cabinet also decided to establish a Directors-General Committee chaired by the Finance Ministry Director-General to find solutions for issues related to those sectors of the economy affected by the declaration.