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Sunday, November 4, 2012
Cabinet Communique

Cabinet Communique
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)

At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 4 November 2012):

1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:

"I watched President Abbas's interview over the weekend. I have heard that
he has already managed to go back on his remarks. This only proves the
importance of direct negotiations without pre-conditions. Only in direct
negotiations will it be possible to clarify what the true positions are.
Generally, I can say that if Abu Mazen is really serious and intends to
advance peace, as far as I am concerned, we can sit together immediately.
Jerusalem and Ramallah are only seven minutes apart; I am ready to start
negotiations today. I will take this opportunity to again call on President
Abbas to return to the negotiating table without pre-conditions because
peace may be advanced only around the negotiating table and not via
unilateral decisions in the UN General Assembly, which will only push peace
further away and will only lead to instability.

I would like to address an issue that has accompanied us for years. If you
remember six months ago it was in the top headlines. I mean the question of
infiltrators. October's data shows that only 54 infiltrators crossed the
border last month and they were all without exception placed in
detention. This means that none of them reached Israel's cities. I remind
you that only six months ago over 1,000 infiltrators were entering every
month and this number was increasing. On the basis of these figures, one may
explicitly say that we have blocked infiltration and now we must focus and
we are doing so on repatriating the infiltrators who are already in
Israel.

This brings me to the next topic and that is taking leave from my outgoing
Military Secretary, Maj.-Gen. Yohanan Locker. I mention this because Yohanan
was such an important part of spheres that were critical to our national
security, to security in general and to the issue of infiltration. If there
is someone that assisted me more than anyone else in building the ground
barrier, in erecting the fence, it was Yohanan. From time to time I would
assign him many tasks. He assisted me immensely with the release of Gilad
Shalit and, of course, in many other areas, most of which I cannot detail
here.

I asked Yohanan to be my Military Secretary after I was impressed by him
during my visits to the Air Force, where he was an outstanding fighter and
commander. I would like to thank him for his service to the State in the Air
Force and afterwards as an outstanding Military Secretary. The public may
not recognize the scope of his work, but I can say that it was considerable.
Around this table, several ministers, perhaps all of them, are familiar with
his capabilities, his equanimity, his sagacity, the vast experience that he
brought, the professionalism and his pleasant manner, but more than
anything, his abiding commitment to the State of Israel and its security,
this was simply exceptional. I hope that he has set a norm for everyone but
it is so genuine, so deep and so correct, at this time and always.

I would like to tell you Yohanan, on behalf of myself and the Cabinet, thank
you. I am certain that you will continue to contribute in various ways to
the People and State of Israel for years to come. A man such as you will yet
contribute much. I will say more at the special ceremony that we will hold
here. I am also certain that all ministers join me in expressing deep
appreciation, also in the knowledge and hope that you will continue to
contribute to the State of Israel."

2. The Cabinet marked National Road Safety Day
http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Spokesman/Pages/spokedrachim041112.aspx
For further details, please click here
http://www.pmo.gov.il/MediaCenter/SecretaryAnnouncements/Pages/govmes041112.aspx

3. The Cabinet, today (Sunday, 4 November 2012), unanimously approved
economic benefits for Sderot and the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip for
2013
http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Spokesman/Pages/spokeHatavot041112.aspx
For further details, please click here
http://www.pmo.gov.il/MediaCenter/SecretaryAnnouncements/Pages/govmes041112.aspx

4. The Cabinet discussed ways to improve the Government's ability to
formulate and administer a socio-economic strategy
http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/MediaCenter/Spokesman/Pages/spokemate041112.aspx
and decided, pursuant to its 10 September 2006 decision, which established
the National Economic Council
http://www.pmo.gov.il/English/PrimeMinistersOffice/DivisionsAndAuthorities/TheNationalEconomicCouncil/Pages/TheNationalEconomicCouncil.aspx

To establish institutions and processes that will provide a strong basis for
Government strategic planning in the socio-economic field, including a
Socio-Economic Strategy Division at the National Economic Council, the
Senior Professional Forum for Strategic Planning and a Strategy
Administration Team; and to recommend the formation of a Ministerial
Committee on Socio-Economic Strategy. For further details, please click here
http://www.pmo.gov.il/MediaCenter/SecretaryAnnouncements/Pages/govmes041112.aspx

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