Iran is presently maintaining and even increasing its capabilities, even as the sanctions imposed on it are in danger of eroding. Such a step is liable to lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 7 December 2014):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"Today National Security Council head Yossi Cohen will brief the Cabinet on the diplomatic and security situation in our region.
We are closely monitoring the Middle East and what is happening with open eyes and ears and a lot is happening. We will stay informed and we will deal with these threats and challenges, which are not taking a time-out. We will deal with them with the same responsibility that we have up until now.
Over the weekend I spoke with Jonathan Pollard’s wife Esther and with US Secretary of State John Kerry. I told him that the uncertain state of Jonathan’s health is an additional reason to set him free. Jonathan lost consciousness and was hospitalized; he is not a healthy man. He is suffering from several ailments at the same time. The time has come, for many reasons, after 30 years, for Jonathan Pollard to be released and to become a free man. He has already paid his debt and he at least deserves the same treatment that others in his position have received. We will not refrain from acting until we bring him home, here to the State of Israel.
I am certain that I speak for all members of the Cabinet and for many others as I send our condolences to our friend Ivet Liberman. He lost his mother, who was like one of the pioneering women who experienced the many tribulations our people have undergone. She overcame these and came to Israel with her husband. She built a well-rooted family and succeeded in personally overcoming major threats against it, which also characterize the threats directed against the Jewish People.
I wish Ivet that he is able to overcome the grief at the loss of his mother. We are all familiar with this, or at least many of us are, and know the magnitude of the pain."
2. Pursuant to Article 25a of Basic Law: The Government, the Cabinet decided to approve the recommendation of Prime Minister and Acting Education Minister Netanyahu to appoint MK Avi Wortzman as Deputy Education Minister.
The Knesset will be duly informed of the foregoing.
3. National Security Council head Yossi Cohen delivered the NSC annual briefing on the security and diplomatic challenges facing the State of Israel.
NSC head Cohen briefed ministers on – inter alia – Iran’s efforts to arm itself with nuclear weapons in parallel with the extension of the interim agreement with the major powers. He said that Iran is presently maintaining and even increasing its capabilities even as the sanctions imposed on it are in danger of eroding. Such a step is liable to lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. NSC head Cohen said that the efforts of the State of Israel are part of the reason why an agreement has not been sign as of yet.
It was noted that Iran is continuing to increase its military strength as well as its direction of inter-continental terrorism.
It was also pointed out that the forces of Global Jihad are continuing to build up their strength on Israel’s borders. These forces are motivated by religious fanaticism and extremism.
Ministers were also briefed on the steps the Government has taken in recent weeks vis-à-vis the disturbances in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria. It was noted that the ISA and IDF have recently carried out a series of counter-terrorist actions that prevented attacks on Israeli citizens.