The suspension of new construction in Judea and Samaria is a one-time and temporary decision, not a freeze of unlimited and infinite duration.
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 6 December 2009:
"Last Thursday, I met with leaders of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria regarding the 25 November 2009 Cabinet decision and listened to their remarks. The decision was certainly not easy, either for them or for us. It has to do with the heart of the homeland of the Jewish people. It has to do with settlers, Israelis who are our brothers; they are part of us and we are part of them.
The decision was made because we see it as serving broader interests, perhaps the State of Israel’s broadest interests. Today, it is clear even to those who were unclear previously – those who want peace and those who are currently acting as refusers of peace.
The State of Israel wants peace in the clearest possible sense. This was made clear following the Cabinet decision. But I also know that this decision is creating the same difficulties that the community leaders spoke about, and we also hear this from the citizens themselves.
Indeed, there are difficulties that accompany this decision and there are unnecessary difficulties that are not part of the decision, but stem from a lack of bureaucratic and other clarity. Therefore, I asked to establish a team along with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Minister Benny Begin, Cabinet Secretary Tzvi Hauser and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj.-Gen. Eitan Dangot, in order to eliminate the unnecessary difficulties. Our intention is not to carry out new construction, but not to halt existing construction. Our goal is not to place difficulties where there is no reason to do so. This does not change the nature of the decision. The team began to work last Friday. It is working today and will work every day – and report to me on an ongoing basis.
I would like to make something else clear. This suspension is for its stated timeframe – and not beyond. In the Cabinet decision, we made it clear that upon the conclusion of the period of suspension, construction will resume. In the meantime, ten days have passed and the time is limited. Therefore, I would like to remove any doubts regarding the temporary and one-time nature of this decision. This is a one-time and temporary decision, not a freeze of unlimited and infinite duration.
The second important thing is that we must get through this together in the best possible fashion. I say this not only to the community leaders and those who live in the communities; I say this to MKs and ministers. Our internal cohesion at this time is important – perhaps more important than anything – and I request ministers’ cooperation in implementing the decision and in helping, to the best of their abilities, to get through it as easily as possible, while upholding the law in the State of Israel.
2. Pursuant to its 22 November 2009 decision, the Cabinet appointed attorney Yehuda Weinstein as the next Attorney General, effective 1 February 2010 – 31 January 2016. The start of his term is subject to completion of the usual procedures regarding conflicts of interest and security clearance.
3. Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer raised the issue of Israel’s textile industry and said that he would – in a few weeks – report on the outline being prepared by officials in his ministry to assist textile industry workers. Click here for further details.
4. Social Welfare and Social Services Minister Yitzhak Herzog and Social Welfare and Social Services Ministry Director-General Nahum Itskovitz briefed the Cabinet on the activities and goals of their ministry.
5. The Cabinet discussed the progress in the privatization of Israel Military Industries, Ltd.
6. In continuation of its 18 October 2009 decision, the Cabinet discussed the rehabilitation of the Avdat National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
7. Pursuant to Article 31A of Basic Law: The Government, the Cabinet decided to transfer to Minister Yisrael Katz the authority given to the Interior Minister in Article 12B of the 1993 Local Authorities Law (Election Financing).
8. The Cabinet appointed six people to the Government Names Committee.