(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting on Monday, 12 October 2009:

1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to last week’s events in Jerusalem: "Last week, extremist elements tried to undermine quiet and peaceful life in Jerusalem.  An extremist minority disseminated lies to the effect that we intend to dig, or were actually digging, under the Temple Mount.  I would like to make it clear that this is an outright lie.

I appreciate the fact that the decisive majority of Israeli Arabs were not dragged after these provocations and did not allow the extremists to exploit the lies.  This morning, I would like to appeal to Israel’s Arab citizens, who want to live good and peaceful lives here and tell you that you are an inseparable part of the State of Israel.  We in the Government want to, and will, act so that you have fully equal opportunities in all areas – education, employment and infrastructures.  Our intention is to implement the goals that we all share – peaceful coexistence, good neighborly relations and a prosperous future for our children, as citizens with equal rights in the State of Israel.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the police and the security forces who did, and are doing, their utmost to maintain quiet and public order."

2. The Cabinet approved the 11 October 2009 Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs decision to approve draft legislation on rail transport and requests that the Knesset House Committee move forward on discussing it. 

3. The Cabinet approved the 11 October 2009 Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs decision to approve the draft 2009 Regional Councils Law (Date of General Elections) and requests that the Knesset House Committee move forward on discussing it.

4. Minister Gilad Erdan, who is responsible for liaison between the Government and the Knesset, briefed ministers on government activity relating to the 18th Knesset’s winter session, which began Sunday, October 12. 

5. The Cabinet decided to appoint a ministerial committee on rules of ethics for members of the Government, to be chaired by Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman.  The committee will – inter alia – consider the recommendations of the public committee on the issue, which was chaired by former Supreme Court President Meir Shamgar. 

6. The Cabinet appointed a committee, to be chaired by Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Eyal Gabai, to consider ways to reduce impediments to cooperation and to a better working relationship among the Government, the business sector and non-profit associations that deal with social issues. 

7. The Cabinet approved the appointment of a national council on the restoration of Jewish rights and property to advise the Government and Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding the restoration of the rights and property of both European and North African Jews from the period of the Holocaust, and of Jews who left Arab countries as refugees. 

8. Pursuant to Article 31(d) of Basic Law: The Government, the Cabinet decided to transfer responsibility for registering and documenting the rights of Jews who left Arab countries and Iran from the Justice Ministry to the Pensioners Affairs Ministry. 

9. The Cabinet decided to further strengthen rural and urban communities in the Negev and the Galilee by supporting groups of young people who are prepared to move to these areas in order to bolster existing communities.   

10. The Cabinet discussed the further development of Be’er Sheva River Park. 

11. Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Jerusalem District Police Commander Aharon Franco gave ministers a detailed briefing on the 27 September -11 October 2009 events on and around the Temple Mount, including the actions of the police to maintain law and order and to protect both the local population and worshippers at the Western Wall.