Full Text Israel Political Brief September 21, 2014: PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting on the economy, rebuilding up the South and Cyber Security

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PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Source: PMO, 9-21-14
יום ראשון כ”ו אלול תשע”ד
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting:

“Today, the Cabinet will approve a NIS 1.3 billion supplement for Sderot and the communities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip. This is the largest investment that the State of Israel has ever made in this area. This is in addition to the NIS 417 million that we transferred during Operation Protective Edge (<. We are developing a new industrial zone in Sderot, transportation infrastructure in the area and are encouraging young people and students to move to the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

We came to this country to build and to be built. We came to this part of our land in order to build and be built in it and nobody will uproot us. We will strengthen our hold and our development of this area just as in other areas. I say ‘as in other areas’ because on Tuesday we will submit for Cabinet approval a supplement regarding an approximately NIS 2 billion in additional funds for the communities and cities of the south . In the framework of this decision, we will build a new hospital in Be’er Sheva, in addition to the hundreds of additional beds for the existing Soroka Medical Center.

We will connect new natural gas infrastructures for the benefit of factories in the south. We will invest in initiatives to connect the Negev in the framework of the Digital Israel program. We will encourage small and mid-size businesses. We will develop tourism and all aspects of life including the important cyber aspect for all residents of the Negev, including Bedouin. This is a deep commitment on our part. I think that it has found expression.

I mentioned the word ‘cyber’. I would like to update the public and the Cabinet that I decided last week to develop a national authority on the cyber issue to arrange and see to defending the entire State of Israel on the cyber issue. That is, defending not only important facilities and security agencies, but how to defend Israeli citizens against these attacks. This is the establishment of a new authority. It is, in effect, the creation of an air force against new threats and not rely on this being carried out by existing agencies. We are in a new world; we are preparing with new forces. This has very major significance for the defense of the State of Israel in the future.

Standard and Poor’s has maintained Israel’s A+ credit rating , but it must be noted that they said that this is based on the assumption that Israel will continue the responsible economic policy that we have led in recent years and not deviate from it. I think that this obligates us to an even greater effort that we have not yet completed in order to maintain security needs alongside the necessary economic responsibility, as well as the other needs of the State of Israel. In the end we are standing here with several clear components and the effort is yet before us.

I would also like to announce that, as of now, according to very interesting statistics, most of which are positive, the State of Israel in 2013 (there is always a one year lag), officially, I can tell Israelis on the eve of Rosh Hashanah , that Israel’s population has passed eight million. No less important, for the first time in the history of the State of Israel, more than six million Jews live here. This number has great significance in light of our people’s history in the previous century as well as in the current one.

While we never lack constant challenges from all sides I think that we proved over the past year that we can overcome them. Our strongest quality is the unity of the people and the heroism of our soldiers in repelling one of these threats and dealing a severe blow to our enemies on the southern border, of course.

On the eve of our holiday, I would like to send our best wishes for a full and rapid recovery to the wounded IDF soldiers and citizens and at the same time send our deepest condolences to the families of the fallen.

I would also like to commend the entire people of Israel for the determination and unity that they showed during Operation Protective Edge. I would like to send them greetings from the ministers and myself that they should now have the vacation that was denied them during the summer. Be with your families and above all, have a happy, quiet and safe year.”

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Israel Brief May 7, 2013: Billions of locusts hatched in southern Israel

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Billions of locusts hatched in southern Israel

Source: JTA, 5-7-13

Billions of newly hatched locusts are spreading throughout Israel’s South….READ MORE

Israel Brief May 6, 2013: Rockets fired from Syria strike Golan Heights

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Rockets fired from Syria strike Golan Heights

Source: JTA, 5-6-13

Two rockets fired from Syria hit the Golan Heights in Israel….READ MORE

Israel Brief April 28, 2013: Israel’s Air Force hits Gaza sites after rocket attack

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Israel’s Air Force hits Gaza sites after rocket attack

Source: JTA, 4-28-13

Israel’s Air Force bombed a terrorist training base in Gaza hours after a rocket from the coastal strip struck near a community in southern Israel….READ MORE

Israel Brief April 17, 2013: Long-range rockets strike Eilat

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Long-range rockets strike Eilat

Source: JTA, 4-17-13

Two long-range rockets fired from the Sinai Desert struck the Israeli resort city of Eilat….READ MORE

Israel Brief April 7, 2013: Gaza rocket fired at Israel, no wounded: police

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Gaza rocket fired at Israel, no wounded: police

Source: The Daily Star, 4-7-13

A rocket fired from Gaza crashed into southern Israel on Sunday, without causing casualties or damage, shortly after the arrival of US Secretary of State John Kelly on a peace bid, police said….READ MORE

Israel Brief April 4, 2013: Rockets fired on Southern Israel from Gaza for third day

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Rockets fired on Israel from Gaza for third day

Source: JTA, 4-4-13

A rocket fired from Gaza struck southern Israel, the third consecutive day that rockets have been fired at Israel from the coastal strip….READ MORE

Israel Brief April 4, 2013: Rockets barrage launched toward southern Israel for 3rd consecutive day

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Rockets barrage launched toward southern Israel for 3rd consecutive day

Source: Nzweek, 4-4-13

For the third day in a row, a rockets barrage of three mortar shells was launched by militants in the Gaza Strip toward southern Israel Thursday morning, the IDF confirmed….READ MORE

Israel Brief April 2, 2013: Rocket fired from Gaza at Southern Israel as second rocket discovered in Sderot preschool

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Rocket fired from Gaza at Israel as second rocket discovered in Sderot preschool

Source: JTA, 4-2-13

A mortar rocket was fired from Gaza at Israel, while a partially exploded Kassam rocket was discovered in an Israeli preschool….READ MORE

Israel Brief February 26, 2013: Southern Israel hit by Gaza rocket for first time in 3 months

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Southern Israel hit by Gaza rocket for first time in 3 months

Source: JTA, 2-26-13

A rocket fired from Gaza hit southern Israel for the first time in three months….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief January 6, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting on the Sourthern Border’s Security Fence Building

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PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Source: PMO, 1-6-13

יום ראשון כ”ד טבת תשע”ג

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this morning made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting:

Last week, I visited the security fence that we are building on the southern border. This visit took place on the day we completed the long section, hundreds of kilometers, between Kerem Shalom and the area around Eilat. The result of building the fence is that we have completely stopped the entry of infiltrators into Israel. In the past seven months, no infiltrators entered Israel’s cities. Several dozen reached the fence each month and were taken to holding facilities. Not one infiltrator reached any community or city inside Israel.

This was one of the largest engineering enterprises in the history of the State of Israel and I have directed that this team not be disbanded, but that it continue until the section in the area around Eilat is finished, which will occur in another few weeks, and even continue work along other borders, especially our border with Syria. We intend to erect an identical fence, with a few changes based on the actual territory, along the Golan Heights. We know that on other side of our border with Syria today, the Syrian army has moved away, and in its place, Global Jihad forces have moved in.

Therefore, we will defend this border against both infiltration and terrorism, just as we are successfully doing on the Sinai border. I also submit to the Cabinet the fact that the Syrian regime is very unstable, that the question of chemical weapons here worries us and that we are coordinating our intelligence and readiness with the US and others so that we might be prepared for any scenario and possibility that could arise.”

Full Text Israel Political Brief January 2, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Remarks at Ceremony to Mark the Completion of the Security Fence along the Egyptian Border

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PM Netanyahu Attends Ceremony to Mark the Completion of the Fence along the Egyptian Border

Source: PMO, 1-2-13

יום רביעי כ’ טבת תשע”ג

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today attended the ceremony marking the completion of the fence along the Egyptian border, the section between Kerem Shalom and the Eilat area. The construction of the fence – 230 kilometers in length – took two years, approximately half of the time that was originally planned, and cost approximately NIS 1.6 billion. Last year, the phenomenon of infiltration into Israel was reduced almost to nil. In January 2012, 2,153 illegal work infiltrators entered Israel’s cities, as opposed to the 36 who entered last month, all of whom were placed in detention. Last month included the first week in six years in which not even one infiltrator crossed the fence. Work on the 12 kilometers of fence in the Eilat area is expected to be completed within three months.

IDF Deputy Chief-of-Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh, GOC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo, Defense Ministry Director-General Udi Shani, Fence Construction Authority head Brig.-Gen. Eran Ofir and Hagai Hadas, who was appointed by Prime Minister to be responsible for repatriating the infiltrators to their countries of origin, also attended today’s tour and ceremony.

Maj.-Gen. Russo briefed Prime Minister Netanyahu on the fence and its contribution to defending Israel’s borders and noted that in addition to its original purpose of blocking illegal work infiltrators, it also plays a main role in preventing attempted infiltrations by terrorists. Brig.-Gen. Ofir reviewed the construction of the fence and said, “Just as Iron Dome defends Israel’s skies, the fence is an iron wall defending Israel’s border.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “For seven months, not one infiltrator has reached Israel’s cities. Just as we have stopped infiltration into Israel’s cities, so too will we succeed in the next mission – repatriating the tens of thousands of infiltrators in Israel to their countries of origin. We have already begun to do so. I have appointed Hagai Hadas to deal with the issue and we can already see results of his efforts. We also need to complete the work on the country’s other borders.” The Prime Minister told those in charge of the project, “This is a great achievement. You did the impossible. I would like to convey to you the gratitude of all Israelis.”

Full Text Israel Political Brief December 23, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting on Southern Israel, IDF Attacks & Syria

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PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting

Source: PMO, 12-23-12

יום ראשון י’ טבת תשע”ג

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this morning made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting:

“We are simultaneously dealing with three fronts. Today’s Cabinet meeting will open with the south, it is quiet there – but we have loose ends to deal with on the home front, with additional grants that we will give to people and communities. By all accounts, the home front was dealt with very successfully in the last operation and later today I will also hold a summary discussion of the home front lessons from Operation Pillar of Defense. Therefore, first of all, we will discuss the continuation of the successful handling of the south.

We have also recently been witness to disturbances and attacks on our forces. Later today, we will visit IDF Central Command in order to closely monitor developments as well as the necessary steps to deal with each possible scenario.

We are also monitoring developments in Syria, where there are dramatic developments almost daily. We are cooperating with the US and, together with the international community, are taking the necessary measures to prepare ourselves for the possibility of far-reaching changes in the regime, with implications for the sensitive weapons systems there

Israel Political Brief November 27, 2012: PMO Director-General Harel Locker Tours Communities in the Area Adjacent to the Gaza Strip and Ashdod

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PMO Dir.-Gen. Harel Locker Tours Communities in the Area Adjacent to the Gaza Strip and Ashdod

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Harel Locker, who was appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to head the Government team on ensuring that the needs of the residents and communities that were affected by Operation Pillar of Defense are dealt with quickly, today toured communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip and Ashdod.

The team’s work in the days since the conclusion of the operation was presented at the discussion that PMO Dir.-Gen. Locker held today with the heads of the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip (Sderot and the Eshkol, Sha’ar Hanegev, Sdot Negev and Ashkelon Coast regional councils) and senior officials from the relevant Government ministries, at the Eshkol Regional Council offices. He noted that in addition to the immediate response by the tax authorities regarding compensation for direct damages, the Knesset Finance Committee today approved directives on compensation for indirect damages (loss of work days and compensation for businesses). As per Prime Minister Netanyahu’s instructions, an outline for quicker-than-usual compensation was formulated and approved. Locker also said that a preliminary NIS 15 million aid package has been approved for local authorities in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip. In education, a plan is currently being formulated on restoring lost classroom hours; the emotional needs of children and young people are also being met. The team also discussed ways to encourage commercial activity and tourism in the area.

Locker underscored the great importance of assisting area residents and local councils and asked all Government ministries to continue joining in the effort. “The fact that we are meeting for the second time within a few days expresses our commitment to the residents and communities of the south. We must work to quickly normal life,” he said.

In his meeting with Ashdod Mayor Dr. Yehiel Lasri and senior municipality officials, and after visiting a building that took a direct hit by a rocket, Locker said, “The directive from the Prime Minister, on whose behalf I have come here today, is to work for the welfare of the residents of the area and deal with the problems that have arisen since the operation in a generous, efficient and rapid manner and in a way that minimizes the bureaucratic process. There is no doubt that the strength of the city of Ashdod stems from the national resilience of its residents, as well as from the defense afforded by Iron Dome and other protective measures. Naturally, we will continue to assist in its development, economic prosperity and excellent functioning.”

The work of PMO Dir.-Gen. Locker’s team follows up on recent Government decisions such as those to approve full protection for all communities 4.5-7 kilometers from the Gaza Strip, to approve an allocation of NIS 7.6 million in order to complete the financing of building protected daycare centers in communities with 0-7 kilometers from the Gaza Strip and to approve economic benefits for Sderot and the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip for 2013. These decisions complete the strategy of national resilience in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip: A combination of diplomatic, security and civilian components that strengthens the fortitude of the residents and councils in the area.

Israel Political Brief November 27, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Meets with Southern Israel Local Council Heads

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PM Netanyahu Meets with Southern Local Council Heads

Source: PMO, 11-27-12

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, yesterday evening, at his Jerusalem residence, met with local council heads from the south of the country and told them: “The IDF acted with strength, and as soon as the operation’s goals were achieved – we ended it. We will continue to closely monitor the situation to see to it that the quiet is maintained. If it is violated, the IDF is ready to respond strongly. I salute the residents of the south. Their resilience enabled us to achieve the goals that we set.”

Be’er Sheva Mayor Rubik Danilovich, at the start of the meeting, said, “This operation has a prominent achievement – Israel’s strong home front.”

Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Hare Locker, who was appointed by Prime Minister Netanyahu to head the Government team on ensuring that the needs of the residents and communities that were affected by Operation Pillar of Defense are dealt with quickly, said that in addition to the immediate response by the tax authorities regarding compensation for direct damages, the Knesset Finance Committee yesterday approved directives on compensation for indirect damages (loss of work days and compensation for businesses). Moreover, a preliminary NIS 15 million aid package has been approved for local authorities to cover expenses stemming from the security situation.

The following local council heads attended the meeting: Abu-Basma Regional Council Chairman Rahamim Yona, Ofakim Mayor Zvika Greengold, Ashdod Mayor Yehiel Lasri, Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin, Be’er Tuvia Regional Council Chairman Dror Shor, Be’er Sheva Mayor Rubik Danilovich, Bnei Ayish Mayor Mark Bassin, Bnei Shimon Regional Council Chairman Sigal Moran, Gan Yavne Mayor Dror Aharon, Hevel Yavneh Regional Council Chairman Eliezer Benfeld, Hof Ashkelon Regional Council Chairman Yair Firjean, Lachish Regional Council Chairman Danny Morviya, Nahal Sorek Regional Council Chairman Eli Escosido, Omer Mayor Pini Badash, Rahat Mayor Fayez Abu Dahiban, Ramat Hanegev Regional Council Chairman Shmulik Lipman, Sderot Mayor David Buskila, Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council Chairman Alon Shuster and Rishon Lezion Mayor Dov Tzur.