(Communicated by the Prime Minister's Media Adviser)
At the weekly Cabinet meeting, today (Sunday, 10 July 2016):
1. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following remarks:
"I am pleased to announce that Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry will arrive today in Israel. I will meet with him this afternoon and again this evening. The previous visit by an Egyptian Foreign Minister to Israel was in 2007, almost a decade ago. Today's visit is important from many points-of-view. It teaches about the change that has come over Israel-Egypt relations, including President El-Sisi's important call to advance the peace process with both the Palestinians and Arab countries. The Egyptian Foreign Minister is coming on behalf of the President of Egypt; we welcome him. I would like to thank attorney Yitzhak Molcho who has greatly contributed to realizing this visit.
Last Friday I returned from an important visit to four African countries. The trip began with an historic summit, not just with the four leaders of these countries, but with another three leaders; all-in-all seven leaders from seven African countries, the populations of which number approximately 260 million people. The seven leaders agreed to act to strengthen our links with additional African countries. They declared that they would work to restore Israel as an observer to the African Union, which is composed of 54 countries. Even though this is a process that will take time, there is no doubt that this is the start of a long journey toward dealing with the automatic majority against Israel in international forums, an automatic majority that rests, first and foremost, on a bloc of African countries. This will not be achieved immediately. It will take a lot of time, but we have begun the process.
During the visit we signed a series of agreements with Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia. No less important, approximately 70 Israeli businesspeople came on the visit. They met with their African counterparts and government representatives. Many of them told me that the visit opened doors and advanced their economic interests, as well as those of the State of Israel, on the continent, in those countries. I add that this will contribute not only to economic relations, but also to diplomatic and security relations.
Here I need to point out: All of these countries, without exception, and many others, are interested in enhancing relations with Israel because they see Israel and its technological capabilities as a major force, first of all, that could assist them in the war against radical Islam that is inundating all of Africa. They want to be close to us; they want our help. This is the first thing. The second thing is that they see Israel's technological and entrepreneurial ability as a very major tool in developing their countries in all areas; we will discuss this later. A third point: Both during this visit and afterwards, we are receiving calls from other countries, some of which we do not have relations with, that they want to enhance relations. That is to say, there is a certain process here that is advancing toward the enhancement and normalization of our ties with African countries. Today, the Cabinet will discuss ways to advance these ties and these opportunities, which are very important to the State of Israel.
I wish to thank to all those who took part in this great effort: To the staffs from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Security Council, my office and those of other ministries, to the security and administrative personnel who worked hard to make possible a very complex four-day four-nation visit. I would like to especially thank Minister Miri Regev and the staff of the Information Center who labored very hard to prepare the emotional ceremony marking the 40 anniversary of the Entebbe rescue mission.
Today, the Cabinet will approve a NIS 50 million plan to strengthen Kiryat Arba and the Jewish community in Hebron. Government offices, I must note, have all been recruited to assist the residents who stand heroically in the face of vicious terrorism, including yesterday's terrorist attack in which, happily, no lives were lost."
2. The Cabinet heard a briefing about the Prime Minister's visit to Africa, from 4-8 July 2016. The visit was held in four countries: Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia. Deputy National Security Council Director Yaakov Nagal, Foreign Ministry Director General Dr. Dore Gold and Prime Minister's Office Director General Eli Groner presented the main points.
Ministers were presented with the main achievements of the visit in the diplomatic and economic spheres. The holding of a summit on the first day of the visit with the participation of seven heads of state was noted. It was pointed out that eight agreements were signed (three with Kenya, two with Rwanda and three with Ethiopia). Leaders of these countries discussed the advancing of issues in the fields of water, agriculture and food as well as various technological issues. Cooperation with Israel in the fight against terrorism was also agreed upon. Support for Israel in various international institutions was also considered. During the visit, in which approximately 80 Israeli businesspeople also participated, many meetings were held with local elements in order to forge and develop commercial contacts.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the visit was of great importance in all aspects including that of security and the fight against terrorism and added that this was in addition to the visit's economic, scientific and technological benefits.
Prime Minister Netanyahu said that contacts with other parts of Africa must be expanded and that Israel's exposure to Africa and the establishment of its status there were an additional component in the development of relations and links that Israel has begun with countries in East Asia and Latin America, as well as with countries in the region such as Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.
Prime Minister Netanyahu made it clear that he intends to establish working teams in order to realize leverage the achievements of the African visit and in order to coordinate and synchronize between the various government ministries in the framework of their activities in Africa.
3. The Cabinet discussed and approved a special assistance plan for Kiryat Arba and the Jewish community in Hebron. Click here for details.
4. The Cabinet discussed and approved a plan to train future public sector employees. Click here for details.
5. The Cabinet discussed and approved draft amendments to the 2016 Bailiff's Law. Click here for details.
6. The Cabinet discussed strengthening ties with world Jewish communities and decided as follows:
In order to strengthen ties and mutual responsibility between the State of Israel and the Jewish People in the Diaspora and in light of the many complex and joint challenges facing the Jewish People in Israel and in the Diaspora:
A. To declare an annual week for strengthening ties with Diaspora Jewish communities to be held during the Hebrew month of Kislev. The first such week will be held from 18-24 December 2016;
B. In the framework of preparations for the week, it will be proposed that the Knesset take part in the event and, to this end, hold a day of professional level discussions on the issue in a format to be determined by the Knesset Speaker;
C. During the week, the Cabinet will hold a special discussion at its weekly meeting;
D. The following special activities will be held during the week or close to it to encourage meetings between Israeli and Diaspora Jews.
* The formal and informal education systems will hold educational and informational activities on the issue including meetings between pupils and representatives if world Jewish communities;
* The IDF will hold educational activities on the issue according to its considerations in the framework of the various IDF units; and
* The Interior Minister will contact local council heads with a proposal to promote events and activities during the week.
7. The Cabinet decided to authorize the Israel Electric Corp. to act on behalf of the state according to Article 266 of the 1965 Planning and Construction Law without deviating from the directives of the 1996 Electricity Economy Law.