I returned over the weekend from the US where I held a long and in-depth meeting with President Obama. We discussed our common interest in preventing Iran from achieving a nuclear weapon. The main thing that we are working to achieve is to prevent Iran’s enrichment capability.
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 6 October 2013):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"Good morning. The Government of Israel regards with utmost gravity the heinous attack on a nine-year-old girl in the community of Psagot. We are not satisfied that our aggressive security policy has led to this being the quietest year in over a decade vis-à-vis terrorist attacks.
First of all, we discern an increase in terrorist attacks recently, and I must say that as long as the incitement continues in the official Palestinian media, the Palestinian Authority cannot avoid responsibility for these events. I will add that it will not help the inciters and murderers – we are here and we will remain here.
From the Cabinet table, I would like to wish a complete and rapid recovery to little Noam and, of course, to strengthen her family. We are all praying for her well-being and support all the residents of Psagot.
I returned over the weekend from the US where I held a long and in-depth meeting with President Obama. We discussed our common interest in preventing Iran from achieving a nuclear weapon. We also raised the issue, myself and the members of my delegation, at the UN, in Congress and in meetings with public opinion leaders.
The main thing that we are working to achieve is to prevent Iran’s enrichment capability. We do not oppose diplomatic negotiations with Iran. We insist that these negotiations lead to the dismantling of Iran’s enrichment capability. Iran claims that it wants this for nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
Seventeen countries produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without even one centrifuge. They produce this energy without centrifuges and without enrichment because enrichment is a main process in producing fissionable material for nuclear bombs. Whoever does not want fissionable material and nuclear bombs does not insist on enrichment; therefore, Iran – which has violated all understandings and misled time and time again, which has declared its intention to destroy the State of Israel and, of course, has violated other decisions as well, and which leads terrorism on five continents – must not be allowed to have an enrichment capability. This is the most important point.
The sanctions on Iran are working. They are very strong; they are a moment away from achieving their goal. The sanctions must not be eased before the goal of dismantling Iran’s enrichment capability, in effect, the ability to produce nuclear weapons, is achieved. This was the focus of the talks. There were other issues as well which I will discuss in the appropriate forums.
Today, the Cabinet will make a very happy decision and appoint two women director generals of Government ministries. I understand that a third woman director general is on the way. There are six women director generals in the current government. I think that this is an all-time record but that there should be more is the important thing.
Also, in the ministerial committee today, we will advance another stage in building the rail line to Eilat. This is part of the clear vision of cancelling the periphery of the State of Israel and joining the Negev and the Galilee to the center. This is in addition to all of the other steps that we have taken in developing the north and the south in order to make the State of Israel into an advanced, inter-linked, modern and mobile country and, in effect, to complete the vision that we all share from the foundation of the state but today we are actually implementing it, with transportation, with the cyber city in Be’er Sheva, the medical and bio-technology school in Safed, the vision of developing the north and the south."
2. Prime Minister Netanyahu briefed the Cabinet on his trip to the US, including his speech to the UN General Assembly and meeting with US President Barack Obama and senior administration officials.
Minister Yuval Steinitz reported on the contacts he held with several European foreign ministers on the Iranian nuclear issue and on the recent meeting of donor countries to the Palestinian Authority.
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is responsible for the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, reported on the Quartet meeting on the negotiations with the Palestinians.
Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin reported on the Prime Minister’s diplomatic meetings, as well as those which were held without him, with various delegations to the UN and with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and senior UN officials.
3. Pursuant to Article 12 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet decided to appoint Michal Cohen as Education Ministry Director General, effective 1 November 2013, in place of Dalit Stauber, who is retiring.
4. Pursuant to Article 12 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet decided to appoint Orna Hozman as National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Ministry Director General in place of Shaul Tzemach.
5. Pursuant to Article 23 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet decided to appoint Zvi Hefetz as Israel’s Ambassador to Austria in lace of Avir Shir-On, who is concluding his term.
6. The Cabinet decided to rename the Immigrant Absorption Ministry as the Immigration and Absorption Ministry, and to change the minister’s title accordingly.
7. The Cabinet discussed the construction of an ammonia plant in the Mishor Rotem area.