(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday), 20 June 2010:
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"In recent years, the Israeli water economy has become caught in a deep crisis. There is a gap of millions of cubic meters that we will need per annum and this gap will be filled by the installations that we are planning. The Sorek desalination facility will supply 150 million cubic meters annually, 25% of the water that the State of Israel lacks per annum.
The installation will include a pumping station, a desalination facility that will stretch over 300 dunams (300,000 m2 or 74 acres), reservoirs, pipelines and a special electric infrastructure. This is an infrastructure project of the highest national importance. Solving the water problem is an integral part of creating the state of Israel’s infrastructure base for the 21st century.
This project joins a long series of infrastructure projects that the Government is advancing. First, in the gas sphere, as you know, we are continuing to lay a natural gas pipeline to the north of the country and in other places. Second, for the first time, we are linking IDF bases to an advanced wastewater treatment network. Third, we are building a ground barrier in the south in order to prevent uncontrolled entry into the territory of the State of Israel. And fourth and most importantly, we are building a national network of railroads and highways north and south; of course, we are also building up the transportation network in the center of the country. And there are other projects."
2. In continuation of its 14 February 2010 decision and as per the recommendation of the relevant ministerial committee on the mutual cancellation of the need for entry visas between Israel and Ukraine, the Cabinet authorized Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman to be in contact with Ukraine on the issue.
3. The Cabinet discussed both the state of the water economy in Israel after six years of drought and the development plans to remedy the situation.
Pursuant to the 1965 Planning and Construction Law, the Cabinet approved a plan for the construction of the Sorek seawater desalination facility.