Prime Minister Ehud Olmert this morning  convened a meeting of the Ministerial Committee for Strengthening Haifa and the North.  The meeting mainly dealt with investments in the non-Jewish sector in the framework of the plan to strengthen Haifa and the north.  Prime Minister’s Office Division for Coordination, Follow-Up and Control (http://tinyurl.com/decge) data indicates that NIS 969 million – 32% of overall Government investments under the plan – will be invested in the Arab sector.  See http://tinyurl.com/28lbu8 for a detailed table and examples.

Prime Minister Olmert said: "I have served in more than a few Governments and no Government composed like this one has ever dealt with such a detailed allocation of resources to the Arab sector.  We are not here to immediately resolve problems that began decades ago but as far as the policy of this Government is concerned – there is a change."  Vice Premier Shimon Peres also said that these were welcome investments of exceptional scope.

The Israel Tax Authority (ITA) reported that around 97% of the approximately 200,000 claims for compensation that were filed have been paid, an overall sum of NIS 3.1 billion.  Prime Minister Olmert thanked the ITA for its quick work.