PM Netanyahu welcomes beginning of proximity talks with the Palestinians

 Cabinet communique

 

Reuters archive photo

(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
 
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 9 May 2010:
 
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to the proximity talks with the Palestinian Authority:
 
"I would like to welcome the Palestinian Authority’s decision to begin proximity talks. At this opportunity, I would like to say two things. One, these talks are developing and are taking place without preconditions, as we requested and as we insisted upon during the past year. The second thing is that the proximity talks must quickly lead to direct talks. Peace cannot be made from a distance or by remote control, especially given that we and the Palestinians are neighbors. Over time, it is inconceivable that we will make decisions and agreements on critical issues such as security and our national interests, and theirs as well, without sitting together in the same room. Therefore, as soon as possible, the proximity talks will need to lead to direct talks in which we will continue the effort to reach the peace and security that will enable us to live alongside the Palestinians for generations."
 
2. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to the 65th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany:
 
"Today marks the 65th anniversary of the victory over the Nazis.  Five hundred thousand Jews participated in the Red Army, in partisan units and in the underground. They fought with supreme heroism, commanded units and many fell, alongside – of course – the millions of non-Jews who also fought with heroism. We salute the veterans, almost 10,000 of whom live in Israel.  We bow our heads in deep appreciation of your sacrifice. The fact is that in this struggle, you saved humanity and the remnant of the Jewish people.

We note our esteem for the struggle of the Red Army and the Jews in it in two ways: One, President Shimon Peres will represent Israel at the main event taking place in Moscow today. Two, during my last visit to Russia, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and I agreed that the Israeli Government would construct a national memorial site in Netanya to honor the memory of those who fell in the ranks of the Red Army. We have now begun the construction of this memorial.  We will also see to the wellbeing of veterans and Holocaust survivors. I would like to wish you a happy VE Day."
 
3. The Cabinet marked Jerusalem Day [which will take place from Tuesday evening, May 11, until Wednesday evening, May 12].  Prime Minister Netanyahu stressed the nation’s commitment to Jerusalem, especially its economic and technological development, and the preservation of its heritage sites.
 
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat briefed the Cabinet on the city’s current status as a developing metropolitan center, including transportation, employment and tourism issues, as well as improving its residents’ quality of life.
 
In order to encourage employment in Jerusalem, strengthen the city’s economy and prevent residents from leaving the city, the Cabinet instructed Prime Minister Netanyahu, who also chairs the Ministerial Committee on Greater Jerusalem Affairs, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer to – within 60 days – submit a draft amendment to Article 22c of the 1988 Jerusalem Development Authority Law so that enterprises in the city, which, as of 1 January 2011, are approved as per the 1959 Capital Investments Encouragement Law, will enjoy the benefits of enterprises in an ‘A’ development area.
 
Pursuant to its 13 May 2007 and 21 February 2010 decisions, the Cabinet decided to assist in the preservation and reconstruction of the wooden structures that served Israeli Presidents in the early years of the State.  Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed that NIS 5 million be allocated to the project from the 2010 national heritage budget.
 
4. Pursuant to Article 21 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), and as per the 5.5.10 recommendation of the State Service Committee, the Cabinet decided to exempt from public tender the position of a senior division head in the Prime Minister’s Office, who will be responsible for the national heritage sites infrastructure plan.  

5. Pursuant to Article 12 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet appointed Ronnie Gimzu as Health Ministry Director-General, to replace Eitan Chai-Am, effective 1 June 2010.
 
6. The Cabinet discussed the move by 18 families that were evacuated from Kfar Darom and other communities to Nir Akiva and approved a Tenufa Authority statement on the issue.  

7. The Cabinet instructed the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry and the Finance Ministry to prepare draft amendments to the 1957 Drainage and Flood Damage Law. 

8. Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Eyal Gabai briefed the Cabinet on the beginning of work to lay a gas pipeline north from Yokneam and the events surrounding the work.