(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday 31 July 2011):
1. Prime Minister Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"Shulamit Shamir, wife of former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir, passed away over the weekend. Shulamit was a woman of principles, an idealist, who stood at her husband's side throughout his life. She was a member of the Lehi; she fought for Israel's freedom. She was always faithful to the principles of the Jewish people and the Land of Israel. She and her husband raised the wonderful Shamir family, which has contributed, and is contributing, to the State of Israel in so many areas. I am certain that I speak for all ministers and all Israelis as we convey our condolences to the Shamir family on Shulamit's passing.
I would also like to express deep revulsion over the murder of Rabbi Elazar Abuhatzeira. I was shocked when I heard about it. I have spoken with several ministers here, who are also finding it difficult to recover from this deplorable murder of a man who represented a brilliant rabbinic dynasty that has given of itself to the public and to the needy. He was taken from us in such a brutal fashion. We convey the condolences of the entire nation.
We are now in the midst of a complicated and challenging reality, both internationally and domestically, in the face of which the Government must act responsibly and sagaciously. It must take proper and responsible steps and avoid irresponsible ones. I must say that today in Israel we can take the necessary measures because we have acted responsibly and sagaciously in the economic sphere in recent years. hus, we have the tools. We have a growing economy. We have the lowest unemployment in 30 years. This enables us to make the necessary corrections. We must avoid irresponsible, hasty and populist steps that are liable to cause the country to deteriorate into the situation of certain European countries, which are on the verge of bankruptcy and large-scale unemployment. I do not think that anyone wants Israel to reach such a situation.
On the other hand, all of us, myself first and foremost, along with the members of the Cabinet, we are all aware of the genuine hardship of the cost-of-living in Israel. This affects many areas. Some of the claims that are being heard are justified and some are not. We are obligated to deal with the genuine claims and distress. Some of them are the result of distortions in the Israeli economy that have taken root here over many long years. Indeed, we must deal with the genuine distress, seriously and responsibly. This, without a doubt, compels us to change our list of priorities. We will need to do this as well, responsibly and sagaciously.
To this end, I will appoint a special team of ministers and experts that will propose a responsible and practical plan to alleviate Israelis' economic burden. I ask the team to open a roundtable, to invite representatives of various groups and sectors, to hear ideas, to hear claims and to hear solutions, and afterwards to submit a plan for implementation to the Cabinet and to myself, which we will implement in order to alleviate Israelis' economic burden."
2. Pursuant to Article 23 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments) and in accordance with Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz's recommendation, the Cabinet the confirmed the appointment of Gal Hershkowitz as Finance Ministry Budget Director, effective 8 August 2011.
3. Pursuant to Article 23 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments) and in accordance with National Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau's recommendation, the Cabinet confirmed the appointment of Alexander Kushnir as Water and Sewage Authority Director, for a five year term, effective 31 August 2011.
4. Pursuant to Article 23 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet confirmed the appointment of Binat Schwartz as Interior Ministry Planning Director.
5. Pursuant to Article 21 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments) and in accordance with the Civil Service Committee's recommendation, the Cabinet decided to exempt from public tender the position of Director of Educational Television.
6. The Cabinet approved amendments to the draft 2011 Guaranteed Income Law and authorized the Ministerial Committee on Legislation to approve the final version. The Cabinet will request the Knesset House Committee to expedite the discussion of the draft legislation and hold its second and third readings on the day that it is tabled in the Knesset.
7. The Knesset approved compensation to Gush Katif and Northern Samaria evacuees regarding synagogue articles and equipment.
8. The Cabinet this morning approved the NIS 300 million agreement that ends the claims for compensation by evacuees from Gush Katif and Northern Samaria. The agreement will allow for the completion of the evacuees' moves to permanent communities and their embarking on a new path. All community representatives, business owners and farmers in Gush Katif have signed the agreement.
The agreement concludes the issue of compensation between the Government and the evacuees that has continued for six years, since the implementation of the Disengagement Plan. Also approved was the closing of the Tenufa Administration in mid-2013 and the transfer of its responsibilities to the relevant ministries.
9. The Chairman of the inter-ministerial committee on determining a policy regarding sanctions against Iran briefed ministers on the administrative and regulatory measures formulated by his committee and on the situation regarding implementation of the committee's recommendations.
10. The Cabinet approved the expansion of National Civilian Service for the years 2012-2015.