Full Text Israel Political Brief September 7, 2015: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks on the Gas Outline Transcript

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PM Netanyahu’s Remarks on the Gas Outline

Source: PMO, 9-7-15


Photo by Kobi Gideon, GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks about the gas outline:

“This is a great day for the State of Israel. I am committed to bringing the gas to the Israeli economy, the hundreds of billions for the education, social welfare and health of Israel’s citizens, and tens of billions for investments and jobs.

We have improved the outline. It passed the Cabinet and passed the Knesset by an overwhelming majority. There is one more obstacle but when I want to achieve something, I achieve it. There will be gas for Israel. I want it for the citizens of Israel, to lower the cost of living, to channel vast sums to the state coffers for energy security.

This will be achieved. We are moving forward step by step and overcoming one obstacle after another.

They told us at the outset: We have not seen the outline so we opened the outline. They told us to improve it; we improved it. They told us to submit it to the Cabinet; we did so and it was approved. They told us to submit it to the Knesset and we approved it by majority vote. Now we have one obstacle left and we will overcome it because it is the right thing for the citizens of Israel.”

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Full Text Israel Political Brief September 1, 2015: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Opens the 2015-2016 School Year at Primary Schools in Ashdod and Ashkelon Remarks Transcript

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PM Netanyahu Opens the 2015-2016 School Year at Primary Schools in Ashdod and Ashkelon

Source: PMO, 9-1-15


Photo by Avi Ohayon, GPO
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today opened the 2015-2016 school year at the Amirim primary school in Ashdod, where he was welcomed by the children with flags and songs, and at the Ramat Keramim primary school in Ashkelon. He was accompanied in Ashdod by Ashdod Mayor Dr. Yehiel Lasri and Education Ministry Southern District Director Amira Chaim, and in Ashkelon by Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

In Ashkelon, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “The first lesson in first grade is ‘Shalom first grade’ with the emphasis on shalom [peace].’ We educate our children for peace. A few kilometers from here, Hamas teaches is children the opposite of peace and it tries, from time to time, to fire at us, at you. And our policy is clear – zero restraint, zero let-up, zero tolerance for terrorism. We respond to every firing at our territory, whether by open or concealed action, and we also foil terrorism like we did yesterday in Jenin. I wish a quick recovery to the soldier who was wounded. We want peace but we first of all we must watch over our land, our children, we must watch over you. This is our first obligation – the security of our children.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu added: “There are two major things here – a great momentum of construction in Ashkelon and momentum in our education system. In education, we want you to study, expand your knowledge, know how to read and write, read the Tanakh and also write new things. You should know mathematics and sciences. I know that you already know how to use computers but you should use them not just to play games. You should be able to use them to connect to the entire world, to know what you want to know and to excel. Don’t just excel, be Zionists too. We have just the army and this land and we need to watch over it. I would like to wish all of you in first grade and up in his growing and developing school that you should study and succeed and above all be friends with each other. And remember, each one of you is different. Respect each other and love one another because we love you very much. May you have much success.”

Full Text Israel Political Brief August 13, 2015: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Press Conference on the Natural Gas Outline Transcript

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PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Press Conference on the Natural Gas Outline

Source: PMO, 8-13-15
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Thursday, 13 August 2015), made the following remarks at the start of a press conference on the natural gas outline, in which National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Minister Dr. Yuval Steinitz also participated:

“First of all, I would like to thank Minister Yuval Steinitz for leading the work, Professor Sheshinski, Amir Levy, Morris Dorfman, Professor Eugene Kandel, Alex Warshavsky and all those who shared in this difficult and important work.

The outline that has been achieved puts the interests of the State of Israel at the center. It puts the citizens of Israel, Israeli industry, the Israeli economy and Israeli society at the center. I thank Minister Steinitz and this team for reaching an agreement that will bring Israel’s citizens hundreds of billions of shekels in the coming years, hundreds of billions of shekels. This money will serve us in health, education and social welfare.

The gas that will flow to Israel will also lower the cost of living because gas is an energy that is significantly cheaper than others; therefore, this will help us lower the cost of living. It costs less to work with gas. Prices will be lower. This is of unparalleled importance. And, of course, this will also help us in developing industry and the periphery and will thereby help to create new jobs, growth, a lower cost of living, employment, energy security, and a cleaner environment – we do not want to pollute the environment. This is cheaper and cleaner energy.

There is every reason to do this. There is every reason to adopt this outline. We will not get into populism; I said so at the outset. We will extract the gas from the seabed and we will bring it to the State of Israel. I am certain that after every possible inquiry, a majority of Israel’s citizens will be convinced that the outline we have reached is a good outline for the State of Israel.

I will submit this outline to the Cabinet on Sunday. I am certain that we will pass it by a large majority, and rightly so, and we will move forward with it for the benefit of the Israeli economy and Israel’s citizens.

Again, I thank my friends here, everyone, but especially you Yuval. You did good and important work for the State of Israel.”

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 30, 2014: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet on Jerusalem School Fire, New IDF Chief-of-Staff, and Illegal Migration Law — Transcript

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

Source: PMO, 11-30-14

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

“We are making great efforts to restore calm and tranquility to Jerusalem. Of course, we will not tolerate attacks from any quarter and we will not tolerate setting fire to a bilingual school as we saw last night. We condemn any such attempt and we will act as vigorously – and with as much unity – as possible to restore quiet and law and order in all parts of the city.

Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and I consulted over the past week and decided to submit to the Cabinet the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot as the next IDF Chief-of-Staff. Gadi is an experienced officer. He has gone through all levels of command and he will shoulder a very great security mission as the IDF operates in various sectors, with growing challenges. He will be assisted by the next IDF Deputy Chief-of-Staff, Maj.-Gen. Yair Golan, who is also among our most experienced and talented officers. I would like to thank Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh for his great contribution to the security of Israel. I think, Defense Minister Yaalon, that a way will be found to integrate him and his experience so that he might continue to contribute to the IDF and the security of Israel.

Of course, the security of Israel is conditional on the defense budget. We added NIS 6 billion to the defense budget. This supplement is essential in order to prevent vital IDF units from having to suspend operations and to enable them to function properly. This supplement must be carried out; it cannot be emptied of content, it cannot be cancelled due to its being reduced for other goals. It must be designated for the IDF and for strengthening the IDF.

Among our national responsibilities is defending our borders. Today, we are submitting to the Cabinet an amended illegal migration law. It fits the reality. It also fits the rulings of the High Court of Justice. I remind you that Israel has achieved the extraordinary – which I’m very proud of – in blocking illegal migration across our borders – zero illegal migrants. Part of this entails repatriating illegal migrants. This year we repatriated over 6,000 illegal migrants. This legislation is designed to enable us to continue this trend.

Today, we will also submit a unique law to the Cabinet, which will provide for the integration of up to 3% handicapped individuals in the public service. I think that this is a socially just law, a humanitarian law of the first order, and it shows the disabled that their disabilities need not prevent them from participating as equal members, and contributing as equals, in the public service of the State of Israel.

All of the foregoing are among the major tasks that are before us. In order to carry them out there needs to be government stability and proper administration. This is urgent for the citizens of Israel and also necessary for the State of Israel. To my regret, this is not what is happening here. Recently, hardly a day passes without us running into diktat or threats or threats of resignation or ultimatums and such as ministers attack the government and its prime minister. I hope that we will be able to return to proper conduct. This is what the public expects of us because only thus is it possible to run the country, and if not, we will draw conclusions.”

Full Text Israel Political Brief November 23, 2014: Excerpt from PM Bernjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the weekly Cabinet Meeting on Iran Nuclear Talks and Israel Jewish Nation State Bill – Transcript

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Excerpt from PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the weekly Cabinet Meeting

Source: PMO, 11-23-14

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, today (Sunday, 23 November 2014):

“Last night US Secretary of State John Kerry updated me on the situation in the nuclear talks with Iran. We are anxiously monitoring developments in these talks. We are holding discussions with the representatives of other major powers and are presenting them with a vigorous position to the effect that Iran must not be allowed to be determined as a nuclear threshold state. There is no reason why it should be left with thousands of centrifuges that could enable it to enrich uranium for a nuclear bomb in a short time. Neither is there any reason why Iran should continue to develop intercontinental missiles, which could carry nuclear warheads, and thereby threaten the entire world. Therefore, no agreement at all would be preferable to a bad agreement that would endanger Israel, the Middle East and all of humanity.

Over the weekend I instructed Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mendelbit, along with Interior Minister Gilad Erdan, to submit draft legislation to revoke rights from residents who participate in terrorism or incitement against the State of Israel. It cannot be that those who attack Israeli citizens and call for the elimination of the State of Israel will enjoy rights such as National Insurance, and their family members as well, who support them. This law is important in order to exact a price from those who engage in attacks and incitement, including the throwing of stones and firebombs, and it complements the demolition of terrorists’ homes, and helps to create deterrence vis-à-vis those who engage in attacks and incitement.

Today, I will submit to the Cabinet the nationality law and the principles that I believe need to guide this legislation. The State of Israel is the national state of the Jewish People. It has equal individual rights for every citizen and we insist on this. But only the Jewish People have national rights: A flag, anthem, the right of every Jew to immigrate to the country, and other national symbols. These are granted only to our people, in its one and only state.

I hear from people who say ‘Who needs this law? We’ve managed without it for 66 years.’ And I ask: Who needed Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty? We managed without it for 45 years. But both are necessary. Israel is a Jewish and democratic state. There are those who would like the democratic to prevail over the Jewish and there are those who would like the Jewish to prevail over the democratic. And in the principles of the law that I will submit today both of these values are equal and both must be considered to the same degree.

This law is also needed now for another reason: There are many who are challenging Israel’s character as the national state of the Jewish people. The Palestinians refuse to recognize this and there is also opposition from within. There are those – including those who deny our national rights – who would like to establish autonomy in the Galilee and the Negev. Neither do I understand those who are calling for two states for two peoples but who also oppose anchoring this in law. They are pleased to recognize a Palestinian national state but strongly oppose a Jewish national state.

On the eve of last Independence Day, I stood in the hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed in Tel Aviv and I promised to submit this legislation to the Cabinet and I am doing so today. I have not softened it and I have not changed anything. I have submitted the principles of the law that I believe in, the same principles that appear in the Declaration of Independence, the same principles that I absorbed in the Zionist sprit from my father, who absorbed them from Zeev Jabotinsky and from Binyamin Zeev Herzl.

Around the nationality law, and around other issues, I hear ultimatums, diktat and threats of quitting from various parts of the coalition; a country cannot be run this way. We must concentrate on strengthening security against waves of extremist Islam and the Iranian nuclear danger, on strengthening Israel’s economy and increasing citizens’ welfare – and not on threats. I believe that the heads of the parties in the coalition will unite and work in this spirit.”

Israel Political Brief June 30, 2013: Rejecting appeal, cabinet approves Be’er Tuviya power plant

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Rejecting appeal, cabinet approves Be’er Tuviya power plant

Source: Jerusalem Post, 6-30-13

Home Front Defense Minister Erdan’s appeal not to erect controversial plant near potential Gaza rocket fire is rejected. Be’er Tuvia residents protest gas plant….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 28, 2013: Knesset Finance Committee approves VAT increase

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Knesset Finance Committee approves VAT increase

Source: Jerusalem Post, 5-28-13

The Knesset Finance Committee on Monday approved Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s plan to increase the value added tax to 18%, as committee chairman Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) announced plans to seek a differentiated VAT in order to make the tax….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 23, 2013: Housing cabinet approves 150000 rental apartments

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Housing cabinet approves 150000 rental apartments

Source: Globes, 5-23-13

Finance Minister Yair Lapid: We have a housing emergency, which threatens an entire generation of young people….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 22, 2013: In wake of PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s bed debacle, state comptroller launches probe

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In wake of Netanyahu’s bed debacle, state comptroller launches probe

Source: Haaretz , 5-22-13

A recent report revealed that PM spent $127,000 of taxpayers money on installing a ‘resting chamber’ on a flight to London for Margaret Thatcher’s funeral; MKs requested the investigation….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 13, 2013: Israel’s Austerity Budget Draws Citizen Protests

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Israel’s Austerity Budget Draws Citizen Protests

Source: New York Times, 5-13-13

The Israeli government was debating the final points of a two-year austerity budget early Tuesday that would cut spending and raise taxes, outraging many Israelis who voted in a new government this year after promises of economic relief….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 13, 2013: Israeli Cabinet approves reduced defense cuts

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Israel’s Cabinet approves reduced defense cuts

Source: JTA, 5-13-13

Israel’s Cabinet unanimously approved a proposal to moderate a cut to the defense budget, as part of sweeping austerity measures proposed for the 2013-2014 budget….READ MORE 

Full Text Israel Political Brief May 12, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting Announcing Cabinet Secretary & on Passing the 2013-14 Budget

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

Source: PMO, 5-12-13
יום שני ד’ סיון תשע”ג

Photo by GPO

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

“First of all, I would like to open with a few words about you Tzvika [Cabinet Secretary Tzvi Hauser]. You are finishing years of dedicated, professional and unconventional work, with out-of-the-box creative thinking that frequently aided me, the government and the state, several of which will become known later. I think that you did so in an exceptional manner and I would like to specially commend the work that you initiated and, to a large extent, led on the national heritage plan.

The heritage plan is designed to join all parts of the people, secular and religious alike, around our ancient and new heritage, ancient from the time of the Bible and afterwards, and modern, from the rise of Zionism, to preserve the actual sites and the intangible, visual, literary and other assets. I think that this is a major revolution in reinforcing the common foundations that define the reason why we are here and, of course, ensure the identity of the coming generations with the Zionist and Jewish enterprise.

I remember that you first brought up the preliminary idea of preserving sites in my first term as prime minister; five sites, including Tel Hai, and then the idea developed. This is thanks to you and I would like to thank you for it, on behalf of the entire government and – I believe – the country.

To fill your position is not simple, but I looked for someone with a background no less impressive and I asked Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Avichai Mandelblit, who was IDF chief advocate general, to do so. I am certain that he brings with him many qualities – legal and others, including knowledge of the security issues, which you also dealt with – for this task, and I will submit his appointment to the Cabinet today in the hope, and with good wishes, that he will continue your success.

Yesterday, we sat until very late on the defense budget and I decided to bring before the Security Cabinet and the full Cabinet a decision that moderates the proposed cut to the defense budget by NIS 1 billion, which will not be at the public’s expense. I would like to make it clear that the IDF – including its commanders, soldiers and weapons – is vital, in both defense and offense, to Israelis’ security; these are two main fronts.

The offensive front is clear. The defensive front is expanding to include the entire home front, the entire State of Israel. And therefore, we need the IDF to continue becoming more efficient, but we also need additional Iron Dome batteries, and I believe that the path I am proposing today strikes a proper balance between the needs of the economy and security needs so as to allow us to achieve both of these goals even though there is always compromise between such needs, and I think that this is the right compromise.

I think that the most important thing for the Cabinet today is to pass the budget. Today, given the State of Israel’s national needs and the global economic crisis, it is important for the State of Israel to show that it is passing a budget. This decision on the defense budget will allow us to pass the budget. We will do this today and by the end of today, the State of Israel will have a budget.

At the same time, we need to continue developing engines of growth. My visit to China, I believe, will aid one of these growth engines – opening the Israeli market, or to be more precise, opening Asia to Israeli initiatives and companies, and this could give us important additional growth.

We will also need to continue the structural reforms inside Israel, starting with port reform, and there will be others. We have started this and we will continue with full vigor. These matters – passing a responsible budget, continuing structural reforms and building growth engines – will, I believe, ensure our economic future in the coming years.

Thank you.”

Israel Political Brief May 9, 2013: Justice Minister Tzipi Livni moving to make public exclusion of women illegal

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Livni moving to make public exclusion of women illegal

Source: JTA, 5-9-13

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni ordered her ministry to draft legislation that would make the gender-based segregation of women illegal….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief April 11, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu said to push back against Yair Lapid austerity measures

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Netanyahu said to push back against Lapid austerity measures

Source: The Times of Israel, 4-11-13

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly asked Finance Minister Yair Lapid to go back to the drawing board after being presented with a package of austerity measures aimed at shrinking the country’s NIS 39 billion deficit Thursday….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief April 7, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu: Allocate NIS 50 Million for Holocaust survivors

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Netanyahu: NIS 50M for Holocaust survivors

Source: Ynetnews, 4-7-13

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the government would approve the proposal to allocate NIS 50 million (about $14 million) to a welfare fund for Holocaust survivors and the elderly….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief February 11, 2013: Beit El to get 90 new homes

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Beit El to get 90 new homes

Source: Ynetnews, 2-11-13

The Defense Ministry has granted the final approval needed for the construction of 90 new housing units in the West Bank settlement of Beit El, Ynet learned Monday….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief February 10, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Weekly Cabinet Meeting on US President Barack Obama’s Israel Visit

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

Source: PMO, 2-10-13
יום ראשון ל’ שבט תשע”ג

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

“I welcome President Obama’s intention to visit Israel. This will be a very important visit that will emphasize the strong alliance between Israel and the US. I think that the importance of this alliance stands out even more given what is happening, in light of the great revolutions, the earthquakes that are taking place around us throughout the Middle East, from the Atlantic Ocean and North Africa and eastwards to Iran. The President and I have discussed this visit. We agreed that we will discuss three main subjects: Iran’s arming itself, Iran’s attempt to arm itself with nuclear weapons, the unstable situation in Syria and its consequences for the security of the region and, of course, for Israel and the US, and efforts to advance the peace process between us and the Palestinians. These issues, and others that will come up, are weighty concerns and require the most serious consideration on Israel’s part. I also believe that they require as broad a national unity as possible; the harnessing of all forces in the State of Israel, and this is the nature of our efforts at this time to form a government.

In this context, I would like to say something that we want, and something that we do not want. We want unity, dialogue and cohesiveness. The last thing we want, and which we absolutely reject is violence, racism and boycotts. These are unacceptable to us. I say this in regards to a team that I have supported for years, Beitar Jerusalem. It has good and dear fans. Lately, we have seen displays of extremism that we find unacceptable. These must be uprooted, of course, from the world of sports. Therefore, I call on all fans, and also on those who are not fans, to disavow these phenomena. We need dialogue and partnership. We do not need extremism and violence, and neither do we need boycotts, in any sphere.

Today’s discussion will be devoted to the issue of the green revolution that the Government has led under the leadership of Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan. If you look back at the data from 2009 and consider what has been done over the past four years, you will see a genuine revolution. I call this a green revolution. But it is unlike the green revolution around us. There is a green revolution in our region that has only one aspect but the internal revolution that has been done here is great and very significant in every sphere, and not just in the resources that have been invested, but in results as well, in what is going on in our homes, in recycling, and in what is happening in our great municipal parks. We were recently in Ariel Sharon Park and we saw the difference there with our own eyes, millions of people go there. It is happening in the Haifa Bay area, in Tel Aviv and in Be’er Sheva. And, of course, all this has additional implications for this revolution, for both air and water quality, for Israel’s being considered among the most advanced countries in this sphere, for meeting international expectations and for future industry as well. In all these respects, I think that Minister Erdan is deserving of all praise for leading this great and fundamental change in our lives.”

Israel Political Brief January 29, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu offers Yair Lapid Foreign Minister post or Treasury portfolio

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PM offers Lapid FM post or Treasury portfolio

Source:  YNet, 1-29-13

Netanyahu offers Yesh Atid chairman one of two top cabinet posts, sources say. Analysts believe Lapid in fact keener on housing, internal affairs portfolios

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid a choice between the foreign affairs or finance portfolios, sources close to the two said.

The two met at the prime minister’s residence on Thursday away from the public eye in a meeting that kicked off the coalition negotiations….READ MORE 

Israel Brief December 11, 2012: Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly visits Israel on agricultural tech mission

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Navajo president visiting Israel on agricultural tech mission

Source: JTA, 12-11-12

Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly and his wife, Martha, are in Israel to learn about issues ranging from agriculture to tourism. Read more »

Israel Political Brief November 22, 2012:PM Benjamin Netanyahu Appoints PMO Director-General Locker to Head Team to Deal with Affected Communities and Residents

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PM Netanyahu Appoints PMO Director-General Locker to Head Team to Deal with Affected Communities and Residents

Source: PMO, 11-22-12

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, appointed Prime Minister’s Office Director-General Harel Locker to head the team that will deal with the communities that were damaged and the residents who were injured and to see to a quick return to normal life. The other members of the team are the director-generals of the Finance; Home Front Defense; Tourism; Social Welfare and Social Services; Agriculture; Negev and Galilee; and Industry, Trade and Labor ministries.

They will work in tandem with the ongoing work of the Prime Minister’s Office, National Security Council, and Home Front Defense Ministry in preparing the home front for security events of this kind.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “The resilience shown by Israeli citizens and the local authorities was an important component in achieving the goals of the operation. Residents’ needs must be seen to quickly and efficiently. I am aware of the distress and the needs, and we will deal with them. I am following the dealing with home front and I have directed all ministries to see to physical reconstruction, psychological rehabilitation and economic compensation quickly and without bureaucracy.”

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