(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, 3 January 2010:
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"I would like to express shock over the murder of seven-year-old Leon Kalantarov and eight-month-old Fruma Anshin. Today, we will establish a ministerial team, chaired by Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, to examine what steps the Government must take – in addition to those already in place – in order to assure the security of our children from such horrors."
2. Academy of the Hebrew Language President Prof. Moshe Bar-Asher and Education Minister Gideon Saar briefed the Cabinet on Hebrew language study in the school curriculum and on the Academy itself.
3. In the framework of its discussion oמ the status of the Hebrew language, the Cabinet decided as follows:
"The Government ascribes national importance to the preservation, development, researching and flourishing of the Hebrew language. It commends the work of the Academy of the Hebrew Language and the efforts of the Culture and Sports Ministry and the Education Ministry in promoting and developing Hebrew as the spoken and cultural language of the State of Israel."
Pursuant to the foregoing, the Cabinet approved various measures to expand the fostering of the Hebrew language.
4. The Cabinet approved the addition of various services and medicines to the health services basket.
5. The Cabinet approved a plan to strengthen Sderot and the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip in 2010. Prime Minister Netanyahu said, "This area has suffered severely in the past decade from terrorist attacks and rocket and missile fire. Our policy is clear to all and I think it also became clear over the weekend – to respond aggressively to any firing at our territory and at our communities. There is no doubt that this policy, in addition to Operation Cast Lead, has increased deterrence against attack on our communities. But we believe that this is not sufficient.
Therefore, the Prime Minister’s Office, along with the Finance Ministry, has formulated a government package for investment in infrastructures and development in order to help the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip, especially Sderot, in which most of the population is concentrated, but also other communities that have suffered and are still suffering. This NIS 300 million plan will meet their needs. I think that this is a welcome and important step that the Government is taking."
6. In accordance with a proposal by Prime Minister Netanyahu (1 above), the Cabinet appointed a ministerial team chaired by Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, and including Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Social Welfare and Social Services Minister Yitzhak Herzog, to examine what additional steps the Government can take in order to assure the safety of children.