PM Netanyahu briefed the Cabinet on his recent trip to Poland, and discussed Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s upcoming visit.
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 31 January 2010:
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to Tu B’Shvat and said:
"Several minutes ago, I planted a tree outside the Prime Minister’s Office in order to give an example to Israelis vis-a-vis a project that we are carrying out with the JNF so that every Israeli can plant a tree so as to bring about the greening of our cities and communities. Every such tree absorbs approximately 1,500 kilograms of emissions and gives off approximately 700 kilograms of oxygen. Thus, it cleans and purifies the air, and gives shade in our hot country.
We are the only country in the world that has more trees today than it had 100 years ago and we want to increase this. But this time, we want to plant trees in the yards, perhaps even on the balconies, of urban residences. Thus, we hope to create a greener, healthier and more pleasant fabric of life."
2. Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed his new Military Secretary, Maj.-Gen. Johanan Locker, who replaced Maj.-Gen. Meir Kalifi.
3. Prime Minister Netanyahu paid tribute to outgoing Attorney General Menachem Mazuz.
4. Prime Minister Netanyahu briefed the Cabinet on his recent trip to Poland, including his participation in the ceremonies that were held to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. He also discussed Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s upcoming trip to Israel at the head of a ministerial delegation for working meetings with their Israeli counterparts and for a joint Cabinet session.
5. Pursuant to Article 12 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments) and in accordance with the recommendation of Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor, the Cabinet appointed Ron Eldadi as Director-General of the Intelligence Ministry, effective 2 February 2010.
6. Pursuant to the 1998 Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women Law, the Cabinet appointed Vered Suweid as Director of the PMO Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women.
7. In accordance with the recommendation of Communications Minister Moshe Kahlon and pursuant to Article 7A of the 1990 Second Authority for Television and Radio Law, the Cabinet appointed 15 members to the Second Authority for Television and Radio Council.
8. Pursuant to Article 12 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet appointed Avraham Lipschitz as Director of the Education Ministry Religious Education Administration.
9. The Cabinet discussed linking the Haifa Bay area to natural gas infrastructures. In the framework of the discussion, Prime Minister Netanyahu said:
"Today, we will make an important decision on the Kishon Basin and the ability to lay a natural gas pipeline that will link the greater Haifa metropolitan area to a natural gas supply network. This has major consequences, as Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan has explained. This will affect the health and maybe even the lives of residents of the greater Haifa metropolitan area, who are choking under especially heavy air pollution.
The supply of natural gas will dramatically improve air quality there. This is related not only to cleaner air, it is also cheaper and will save the country considerable money. The pipeline route will also serve Highway #6 and the northern railway. Today, we will decide to open this infrastructures bottleneck.
I would like to add that we want to reach understandings. Led by Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Eyal Gabai, we have gone towards reaching understandings with the Druze landowners. The Druze are very dear to the country; they contribute to it. There are also Jewish landowners there. We think that we have made a very generous offer. Today’s decision will facilitate a resolution of these problems, mainly the resolution of a national problem that must be dealt with. I think that this will contribute to the environment, the quality of transportation and the north’s link to the center."
10. The Cabinet discussed policy towards dealing with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) for 2010-2011.
11. Pursuant to Article 3 of its 16 September 2007 decision, the Cabinet authorized the Foreign Ministry to conduct negotiations with the Ukrainian Government on signing an agreement for the reciprocal exemption from tourist visas.