(Communicated by the Cabinet Secretariat)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 13 January 2013):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"I would like to praise the Israel Police, with the support of the IDF, for its rapid and determined operation to evacuate the Palestinian gathering in the area between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim.
As soon as I was updated on the Palestinian gathering, I ordered its immediate evacuation and it was indeed carried out last night in the best possible manner. We will not allow anyone to harm the contiguity between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim.
Over the weekend, somebody criticized my government over the investments we made in security. Indeed, in contrast to governments that invested billions in the disengagement, we invested billions in building up our strength so as to ensure the security of Israel's citizens. We invested and we will continue to invest in Iron Dome, which stopped the missiles, in the security fence in the south, which stopped the infiltrators, in cybersecurity and in the offensive and defensive capabilities of the IDF, Mossad and ISA.
These capabilities have already found expression in various areas, including during Operation Pillar of Defense, which was conducted responsibly and wisely and which achieved its goals . It is no coincidence that the security situation in the country is the best it has been in years and this is in the face of the great security upheaval around us and in our region.
I would like to commend the ministers who dealt with the issue and the government for backing the important operations to ensure the security of Israel's citizens.
Preventing a nuclear Iran was, and remains, my main goal as Prime Minister. Whoever does not understand that a nuclear Iran is most severe threat to our security cannot lead the State of Israel. Not only must one understand this but one must also act both on the international plane and on that of Israel's capability for action. We have done both of these and will continue to do so if we win voters' confidence as I believe we will.
Today, we will present the issue of national heritage. The Ministerial Committee on Symbols and Ceremonies recently decided that next Independence Day will mark the Year of National Heritage. The Government's heritage plan expresses our commitment to pass to our children the heritage of Israel and Zionism. In this framework, we have invested approximately NIS 700 million in a multi-year plan regarding some 300 sites and cultural initiatives. This includes archaeological sites from the era of the Tanakh, sites from the early Zionist period, archives, information databases and more.
I would like to specially thank Cabinet Secretary Tzvi Hauser, who led this plan and has acted out of deep faith in the importance of preserving Israel's heritage and passing it on, with that same deep faith that is shared, I think, by all ministers here."
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said:
"The Samaria and Judea District [of the Israel Police] acted – along with units that it received yesterday as reinforcements – to evacuate the 95 Palestinians, including women and children, who were on the hill along with 20-30 journalists, some from overseas, and the tents that they set up over the weekend.
As soon as the political echelon led by Prime Minister Netanyahu made its decision, the forces were deployed – the inner rings of Israel Police personnel were under the command of the Acting District Commander – and carried out the evacuation without the use of force. The [Israel Police] forces went up to the site without demonstration dispersal means and ordered the Palestinians to leave the area. Some left voluntarily, others required our assistance to be evacuated. The evacuation was carried out without injuries. All were put on vehicles and evacuated to Kalandia, where they were handed over to the Palestinian Authority. This was a clean operation, which started at 02:00 and was over by 04:00. There is now a force guarding the site, including the tents. As soon as we receive an additional order from the Supreme Court, because the issue is currently under discussion, we will continue – of course – to evacuate the tents, should such an order be received."
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Aharonovitch praised the security forces for their action in removing the Palestinian outpost.
2. The Cabinet approved the following Foreign Service appointments:
- Ruth Kahanoff – Israeli Ambassador to Japan;
- Tzipora Rimon – Israeli Ambassador to Portugal;
- Barukh Binah – Israeli Ambassador to Denmark;
- Gary Koren – Israeli Ambassador to the Czech Republic;
- Shmuel Ben-Shmuel – Israeli Ambassador to Australia and non-resident Ambassador to Papua New Guinea;
- Arthur Lenk – Israeli Ambassador to South Africa and non-resident Ambassador to Lesotho and Swaziland;
- Uri Gutman – Israeli Ambassador to the Republic of Korea;
- Yael Rubinstein – Israeli Ambassador to Singapore and non-resident Ambassador to East Timor;
- Yosef Livne – Israeli Ambassador to New Zealand and non-resident Ambassador to Tonga, Samoa, Niue and the Cook Islands;
- Avaham Haddad – Israeli Ambassador to Costa Rica and non-resident Ambassador to Nicaragua;
- Bahig Mansour – Israeli Ambassador to the Dominican Republic and non-resident Ambassador to Antigua and Barbuda, Jamaica, Grenada, Dominica and Haiti;
- Isi Yanouka – Israeli Ambassador to Ivory Coast and non-resident Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo and Liberia;
- Elie Antebi – Israeli Ambassador to Eritrea;
- Carmela Shamir – Israeli Ambassador to Uzbekistan and non-resident Ambassador to Tajikistan;
- Sagi Karni – Israeli Consul-General in Hong Kong and non-resident Consul-General in Macao;
- Raphael Singer – Israeli Ambassador to Angola and non-resident Ambassador to Mozambique and Sao Tome and Principe;
- Brett Jonathan Miller – Israeli Consul-General in Mumbai;
- Yoel Barnea – Israeli Consul-General in Sao Paulo; and
- Dan Shaham-Ben Hayun – Israeli Consul-General in Munich.
3. Pursuant to Article 21 of the 1958 Council for Higher Education in Israel Law, the Cabinet decided to approve the Council for Higher Education in Israel's 1 January 2013 decision to grant the Shalem Center a permit to open an institution for higher education.
4. Pursuant to its 30 January 2011 and 7 February 2010 decisions and in light of the national strategic interest and the economic and environmental potential, the Cabinet approved a plan regarding the 2013-2025 transition of transportation in Israel to non-petroleum alternative energy sources and to allow the feasibility of reducing the weight of petroleum as an energy source for transportation in Israel by approximately 30% in 2020 and approximately 60% in 2025, vis-à-vis consumption forecasts for these years, to the extent that the transition is economically feasible.
5. Pursuant to Articles 53 and 76 of the 1965 Planning and Building Law, the Cabinet decided to approve a national infrastructure plan regarding protecting the Dead Sea.
6. Cabinet Secretary Tzvi Hauser briefed ministers on the plan to strengthen national heritage.