We have had important achievements in the two primary fields of security and the economy – we have led the Israeli economy to emerge from the global recession quicker than most western countries, and have implemented a policy of aggressive response to attacks against our territory.
(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Monday, 4 October 2010):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"The Government is prepared for the great missions of the coming session – passing a budget and continuing to ensure security and advance peace. Our Government is committed to all of these challenges, to lead Israel to prosperity, security and peace.
In the two primary fields, security and the economy, we have had important achievements. We have led the Israeli economy to emerge from the global recession quicker than most – nearly all – western countries. We implemented a policy of aggressive response to missiles fired at us and to other attacks against our territory. The list is long; I will not detail it here.
One month ago, the Palestinians entered into direct talks with us, following a series of gestures that the Government carried out in order to advance the peace process. We have fully lived up to our commitment, a difficult commitment that we took upon ourselves. Now there is interest in continuing the peace negotiations. This is a vital interest for the State of Israel. We are in the midst of sensitive diplomatic contacts with the US administration in order to find a solution that will allow the continuation of the talks. Now is not the time for issuing statements. We have no interest in causing an uproar. Neither do I have the possibility of denying the baseless media report. But I do have an interest in responding calmly and responsibly in order to advance the diplomatic process. We will quietly consider the situation and the complex reality away from the spotlights. I propose that everyone be patient, act responsibly, calmly and – above all – quietly. This is exactly what we must do."
2. The Cabinet discussed the Turkel Commission and decided as follows:
The Cabinet expresses its sorrow over the recent passing of Commission member Shabtai Rosenne. The Cabinet acknowledges his work for, and contributions to, the State of Israel, and expresses its condolences to his family.
The members of the Commission will be: retired Supreme Court Justice Jacob Turkel (Chairman), Prof. Miguel Deutch, Reuven Merhav and Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Horev.
Commission Chairman Turkel will have a double vote in the event of a tie.
3. The Cabinet marked the International Day of Older Persons.
Prime Minister Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"On October 1, both the world and Israel marked the International Day of Older Persons. The older adult population in Israel numbers 750,000 citizens, approximately 10% of the population. We are all here today thanks to older citizens and we must see to their welfare. We know that the number of senior citizens has increased, but they are not becoming older, rather they are becoming younger. In any event, everyone reaches old age and we must uphold the Biblical injunction to respect the aged.
Already at the beginning of my Government’s tenure, we increased support payments for the elderly by approximately NIS 1 billion and that is a lot. It is a very large increase. Of course, the needs are great, but this increase is very significant. Today, we will submit for Government approval, a special incentive for the HMOs to carry out medical tests for citizens over 70. Our goal is to encourage healthy and qualitative lifestyles and, of course, to advance the longevity of the older population."
Deputy Minister for Senior Citizens Dr. Lea Nass and Senior Citizens Ministry Director-General Aharon Azoulay briefed ministers on the structure and main goals of the Ministry.
The Cabinet directed the Senior Citizens Ministry, the Health Ministry and the Finance Ministry to prepare the aforesaid incentive for the 2011-2013 budget years, at a cost of NIS 5 million.
4. The Cabinet continues its discussion of a national plan to develop technologies to reduce the global use of petroleum for transportation and to strengthen relevant high-tech industries.
Prime Minister Netanyahu instructed that defining the plan as a national project be examined.
5. Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Education Minister Gideon Saar raised the issue of the deportation of the children of foreign workers. The Cabinet noted their remarks.