(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
 
At the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, 10 January 2010:
 
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
 
"Last week 20 rockets and mortar rounds were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip.  I regard this very seriously.  The IDF responded immediately; it attacked missile-producing factories in the Gaza Strip and tunnels through which Iran smuggles missiles and rockets into the Strip.  The Government’s policy is clear: Any firing at our territory will be responded to strongly and immediately.
 
It is not only missiles and rockets that endanger security and push peace further off.  Words can also be dangerous.  Sadly, there has been a regression in this matter in recent months, both within the Palestinian Authority and by its leaders.  Whoever sponsors and supports naming a square in Ramallah after a terrorist who murdered dozens of Israelis on the coastal road – encourages terrorism.  Whoever declares those responsible for the murder of the late Rabbi Meir Avshalom Hai, father to seven children, as holy martyrs – pushes peace further away.
 
At the same time, incitement continues in the Palestinian media and education system; in its official media outlets and in the schools under its supervision.  These serious actions represent a harsh violation of the Palestinians’ international obligation to prevent incitement.  I say to the Chairman of the Palestinian Authority: Stop the incitement.  This is not how peace is made.  Peace is made by educating towards reconciliation, by encouraging good neighborly relations and by developing mutual respect.  Therefore, the cessation of Palestinian incitement is a necessary condition, not for entering into discussions, but so that we may complete them in a way that will bring about genuine peace between our two peoples."
 
2. Prime Minister Netanyahu also paid tribute to his outgoing Military Secretary, Maj.-Gen. Meir Kalifi, who is retiring from the IDF after 33 years of service.
 
3. Pursuant to Article 12 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet appointed Orna Hozman-Bechor as Director-General of the Negev and Galilee Development Ministry.
 
4. Pursuant to Article 12 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet appointed Ehud Shani as Director-General of the Defense Ministry, effective 14 January 2010. 
 
5. Pursuant to Education Minister Gideon Saar’s recommendation, the Cabinet appointed Tzvi Tzameret as Chairman of the Education Ministry Pedagogic Secretariat.
 
6. The Cabinet voted to extend several previous decisions regarding the financing of infrastructure development in the Bedouin sector in the Negev. 
 
7. Social Welfare and Social Services Minister Yitzhak Herzog and National Insurance Institute Director-General Esther Dominisini briefed ministers on the latest NII poverty and social gaps report.