(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 7 July 2013):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"Today, after 65 years, we are submitting for Cabinet approval the outline on increasing equality in sharing the burden. We will enact this change gradually while considering the special needs of the ultra-orthodox population. Our objective is two-fold: Integrating young ultra-orthodox into IDF and national service and, no less important, integrating them into the labor force.
I would like to thank the members of the committee on increasing equality in sharing the burden led by Minister Yaakov Peri, who did excellent work; you are truly worthy of all praise. I attribute great importance to integrating Israeli Arabs in sharing the burden and while the proposed outline refers to this issue, in my opinion it is still not complete and we will need to continue dealing with the issue in order to complete it.
Regarding blocking illegal migrants, since our previous meeting we have received data according to which in the first half of the year, only 34 illegal migrants crossed the border. This is in comparison with 9,570 in the same period last year. We are talking about a reduction of over 99%.
The fence that we built is making a significant contribution to blocking illegal migration to Israel. In practice, nobody has entered and the few who have arrived did not reach Israel's cities. The fence has completely stopped illegal migration to Israel, but it also has an additional function - namely counter-terrorism. You must remember that this fence is equipped with very advanced means. There is also a doctrine being developed to protect the State of Israel against the double threat of illegal migration and terrorism from Sinai. I think that every passing day underscores how correct and how important the decision was to build the fence in the south.
Finally, I would like to thank Israel's ambassador in Washington, Michael Oren, who is finishing four years of service that I would define in one word – excellent. Michael has been an exemplary ambassador and has done very, very important work, which I am certain will be continued by his replacement, who we will name in the coming days."
2. Pursuant to Article 12 of the 1959 State Service Law (Appointments), the Cabinet appointed Dan Harel as Defense Ministry Director General in place of Ehud Shani, effective 1 August 2013.
3. Minister Yaakov Perry, chairman of the Ministerial Committee on Equality in Sharing the Burden in Military Service, Civilian Service and the Labor Force, submitted his committee's recommendations – in the form of two draft laws - for the approval of the Cabinet and the Ministerial Committee on Legislation.
Minister Perry noted that his committee would, within two weeks, formulate a draft decision on completing the arrangements related to the outline on sharing the burden.
Minister Perry described the principles at the basis of the formulation of the aforesaid outline, which has to do with expanding the participation of certain populations in the framework of military service, civilian service and national service and the integration of these populations into the socio-economic fabric.
Minister Perry said that his committee would continue its work and would monitor the outline after its implementation. He thanked his fellow committee members and all those who assisted its efforts.
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon added that the outline would be implemented gradually and that targets would be set for its implementation in the framework of a draft Cabinet decision that is being formulated.
National Civilian Service Director Sar-Shalom Jerbi presented data on national service.
Senior Economy Ministry officials briefed the Cabinet on their Ministry's position regarding the proposed outline.
Following a discussion, the Cabinet decided to approve the outline in principle and authorized the Ministerial Committee on Legislation to approve the final version of the draft legislation to be submitted to the Knesset.