The Cabinet instructed the Defense Ministry to build, maintain and operate a barrier along Israel’s international border with Egypt.

 Cabinet communique

 

Reuters archive photo

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
 
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 14 March 2010:
 
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
 
"We look at this morning’s newspapers and read all kinds of comments and analyses. First of all, I suggest that we not get carried away – and that we calm down. We know how to deal with these situations – with equanimity, responsibly and seriously. There was a regrettable incident, that was done in all innocence and was hurtful, and which certainly should not have occurred. We appointed a team of directors-general to examine the chain of events and to ensure procedures that will prevent such occurrences in the future. Beyond this, I think we should suffice with the foregoing.
 
I also asked the ministers to do so at this time. And I do not think that there is any reason to add any more. But it is of utmost importance to understand that the State of Israel and the US have common interests and we will act according to the vital interests of the State of Israel. These interests also obligate us to decide on changing the situation within the country."
 
2. Pursuant to Article 23 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet approved the appointment of Hagai Tannenbaum-Erez as defense establishment comptroller, effective 1 April 2010, in place of Yosef Beinhoren, who is concluding his duties.
 
3. The Cabinet approved the draft 2010 Planning and Construction Law, which had been approved by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Thursday, 11 March 2010, decided to submit to the Knesset tomorrow (Monday), 15 March 2010.

Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser: The reform will shorten the wearying bureaucratic process that Israelis and contractors must currently undergo and will constitute an internal lever for economic growth.

4. The Cabinet instructed the Defense Ministry to build, maintain and operate a barrier along Israel’s international border with Egypt as a means that has proven its effectiveness in preventing terrorist activity; the smuggling of ordnance, people and drugs; and infiltration. The construction of the barrier will conclude by mid-2013. 

Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser:
 
The Cabinet approved the plan for constructing a barrier along Israel’s southwestern border, including the budgetary allocation.
 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that, "There is broad agreement that we need to protect the State of Israel and its future as a Jewish and democratic state. We cannot allow the current situation to continue. The quantity of infiltrators will only increase, also given the economic attractiveness of the State of Israel. This has security and demographic consequences vis-à-vis illegal entry into the labor market, drug trafficking, human trafficking, etc. Building a fence is a great and important national necessity, as we look forward toward the future of the State of Israel."
 
The plan is designed to prevent hostile terrorist activity, drug smuggling, the smuggling of goods, illegal infiltrations and human trafficking.
 
It has been agreed that the barrier will consist of a fence and other means, including warning measures. It will be built in accordance with the outline of the ground in the various sectors. After it is completed, consideration will be given to the possibility of building fences along other sections of the barrier and even along the entire 240-kilometer length of the border (from Kerem Shalom to Eilat). NIS 1.35 billion will be allocated to the construction of the barrier in 2010-2013. Financing will be allocated equally from the Defense Ministry budget and a supplementary budget to be provided by the Finance Ministry.

5. In continuation of Article 11 of its 25 January 2009 decision and Article 2 of its 18 October 2009 decision, the Cabinet approved a plan to "bring minds to Israel." 

Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser:
 
The Cabinet approved a national plan to bring back Israeli scientists and technicians who live abroad. The plan will create a center for excellence that will emphasize the bringing in of outstanding researchers from abroad. The Government views the bringing in from overseas of outstanding Israeli and Jewish scientists and technicians as an important policy tool in raising the level of excellence at institutions of higher learning and in strengthening the supply of skilled workers in the economy. This is – inter alia – in order to increase the State of Israel’s potential for lasting growth.
 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that, "We have an opportunity to bring in scientists and technicians due to the relatively good situation of the State of Israel and the less beneficial situation in other places. This is an important core of know-how for growth and advancement in Israel and we are working together with Education Minister Gideon Saar, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, and Immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver. I think that this is a very important plan – to bring Israelis back to the country."
 
6. The Cabinet discussed formulation of a national plan to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases in Israel.
 
7. The Cabinet discussed the continued development of the community of Harish.
 
8. The Cabinet decided to continue financial support for administration and maintenance of temporary housing sites for Gaza Strip and northern Samaria evacuees in 2010.