Cabinet Communique, 18 September
(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting today (Sunday, 18 September 2016):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"Last week we signed the security assistance agreement with the United States for the coming decade. Israel will receive $38 billion in order to strengthen our military and our defensive systems against missiles. I would like to thank President Obama, the American Congress and the American people. The support for Israel in the United States is stronger than ever. It crosses political parties and embraces the length and breadth of the United States and it finds expression in this agreement. This is the largest assistance agreement that the United States has ever provided to any country in its history, and this agreement proves the depth of the relationship, and the strength of relations, between Israel and the United States.
I hear all kinds of background noise and disinformation about the agreement. I would like to make it clear: We were never offered more. We were not offered more money, not even one dollar, and we were never offered special technologies. These are distortions and fabrications of interested parties; either they do not have the facts or they are distorting the facts, and they are, of course, showing ingratitude, and in my view this is the saddest thing of all, ingratitude to our greatest and best friend, the United States.
This is an agreement that will greatly strengthen the security of Israel, and we should all welcome it and express our appreciation to the United States. I would like to thank Acting National Security Advisor and Head of the National Security Council Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Jacob Nagel and the head of the IDF General Staff Planning Directorate, Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin, and their teams, also the National Security Council, the Defense Ministry and the Finance Ministry. Nagel, you did amazing work, excellent work, and you brought the State of Israel excellent results. Thank you. I would like Nagel to brief the Cabinet on the details of the agreement.
This morning and over the weekend there were several attempts to attack IDF soldiers and security forces personnel. I commend the quick reactions of the soldiers and police personnel, and I send – on behalf of the entire Cabinet – my best wishes for a recovery to the wounded.
Ahead of the Tishrei holidays, the risk threshold has risen. The IDF and the Israel Police are boosting their forces. The security forces are on heightened alert and I will meet with them today in order to ensure that we will be ready to defend our people during this sensitive period. At the same time our eyes are on the north. We will not allow an additional front to be opened against the State of Israel on the Golan Heights, not there and not anywhere else.
This week I will leave for the United Nations General Assembly where I will meet with world leaders including from African countries. And of course, at the United Nations General Assembly I will, as I do every year, present Israel's case to the world."
2. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Acting National Security Advisor and Head of the National Security Council Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Nagel briefed ministers on the processes that led to the formulation of the MOU between the United States and Israel for 2019-2028, that was signed in Washington on 14 September 2016.
Ministers were also briefed on the main points of the agreement that was signed and their significance and implications for the defense establishment and defense industries in Israel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Mr. Nagel noted that the agreement that was achieved is an excellent agreement that allows the State of Israel to deal with the security challenges it faces.
3. The Cabinet discussed the issue of exemption from aviation fees at the Uvda airfield; click here for details.
4. Foreign Ministry Director General Dr. Dore Gold briefed ministers on the main challenges facing the Foreign Ministry. He discussed the effort being made to expand ties with African countries including the resumption of diplomatic relations with countries that Israel has no diplomatic relations with, increased economic cooperation with African countries and cooperation in the fields of knowledge and technology. He also briefed ministers on additional challenges vis-à-vis the foreign policy of the State of Israel.