PM Netanyahu informed the Cabinet that he would be leaving for Moscow this evening for meetings with President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin.
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 14 February 2010:
1. Prime Minister Netanyahu welcomed Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein, who assumed office last month.
2. Prime Minister Netanyahu informed the Cabinet that he would be leaving for Moscow this evening for meetings with President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin: "I view Russia as in important power and an important friend of the State of Israel. We will discuss a range of issues, but first and foremost Iran. Israel believes that strong pressure must be applied to Iran, especially very sharp sanctions, which US Secy. of State Clinton referred to as ‘crippling sanctions.’
Of course, we will also discuss other issues, including bilateral economic issues, in order to strengthen ties and cooperation. We highly value ties with Russia and would like it to support the hastening of moves to revive the peace process – naturally without pre-conditions – between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and the rest of its neighbors."
Pursuant to Article 16 of Basic Law: The Government, the Cabinet decided that Minister Moshe Yaalon would, in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s absence, serve as Acting Prime Minister regarding convening and conducting meetings of the Government.
3. The Cabinet discussed continued assistance (for social activities) in 2010 for local councils that absorbed evacuees from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria.
4. The Cabinet discussed continued assistance (for special needs and expenditures) in 2010 for local councils that absorbed evacuees from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria.
5. The Cabinet discussed the relocation of evacuees from Neveh Yam.
6. The Cabinet discussed the mutual cancellation of visas between Israel and Ukraine.
7. The Cabinet discussed the formulation of a law on the issue of migration to Israel.
It was decided that Prime Minister Netanyahu will chair a committee that will prepare and submit draft legislation within 60 days. The other members of the committee are: Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman (who will chair the committee in the Prime Minister’s absence), Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Social Welfare and Social Services Minister Yitzhak Herzog, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Minister Dan Meridor, Attorney General Weinstein’s representative, a Public Security Ministry representative, an Industry, Trade and Labor ministry representative, Prime minister’s Office Director-General Eyal Gabai’s representative and National Security Council representative.
The policy to be established in the draft law will allow the State of Israel to realize its national interests and its values as a Jewish and democratic state, and to deal with the challenges facing it, while continuing to respect human rights.
8. The Cabinet discussed the construction of a barrier along Israel’s southern border. Prime Minister Netanyahu said: " Israel is the only country in the advanced world that may be reached on foot from Africa. The result of which are security problems and the issue of growing illegal infiltrators, which we must deal with. We will begin discussing this today. Our decisions in the suggested framework are not designed to deny the right of war refugees’ entrance to into the State of Israel. This issue is not on the agenda and this right will be maintained. However, we will discuss the possibility of building a fence and technological obstacles along the border for several hundred kilometers. In the end, the plan, which we will decide upon at a further meeting, will be spread over several years. The work itself will begin this year and I think that it will stabilize Israel’s borders, an objective shared by all Israelis."
9. The Cabinet authorized Minister Yossi Peled to be responsible for the Prime Minister’s Office Ombudsman for Persons who have Cooperated with Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu asked Minister Peled to propose a policy for dealing with persons who have cooperated with Israel, supervise the work of the Ombudsman and update him on a regular basis.