Speaking at his last cabinet meeting before Israel’s 70th Day of Independence, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday morning declared that “Israel fully supports President Trump’s decision to act against the use of chemical weapons in Syria,” and added that Israel “welcomes the participation of British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emanuel Macron in this action.”
“I spoke with British Prime Minister Theresa May last night and I told her that the important international message of the attack is zero tolerance for the use of non-conventional weapons,” Netanyahu told his ministers. “I added that this policy needs to also be expressed in preventing terrorist states and groups from having nuclear abilities. I reiterated that the main element that is subverting the Middle East more than any other is Iran, and that President Assad must understand that when he allows Iran and its proxies to establish a military presence in Syria, he is endangering both Syria and the stability of the entire region.”
Netanyahu switched to events in the Gaza Strip, noting: “At the same time we will continue to deal with underground threats. Over the weekend the IDF thwarted another tunnel from the Gaza Strip toward Israel. We are operating in all sectors on behalf of Israel’s security and we underscore our backing for the IDF soldiers who are guarding our borders.”
Turning to legislative efforts to curb the high court’s power to annul Knesset and government decisions, the PM said, “I have just concluded an important discussion with the heads of the coalition parties, and with the Attorney General and his team, on the question of relations between the legislative and judicial authorities. There will also be meetings during the week.”
“Such a discussion was held over a decade ago, without results, and we would like to reach balanced and correct solutions in order to deal with present and future challenges in another way. The discussion is very important and very serious and we regard it as such,” Netanyahu said.
“Today the Cabinet will consider a series of decisions to strengthen the periphery and social resilience in Israel, worth a cumulative sum of approximately 1 billion shekel ($285 million),” the PM moved to social issues. “We will approve a new national preferences map, and strengthen the social periphery communities. I say social – and not geographic – periphery because the intention is for weaker neighborhoods and communities in the center of the country as well, the concerns of which up until today have not been met, and we will correct this injustice today.”
“We will make another decision to strengthen the communities adjacent to the fence in the north via a unique assistance plan for Kiryat Shemona, Shlomi and Metula. We will also approve a comprehensive plan to strengthen Yerucham ahead of the preparations for the IDF’s move to the Negev. We will also strengthen the communities along the Dead Sea and assist them in dealing with the problem of sinkholes,” the PM said.
“As you see, this meeting will be replete with decisions and action, and this occurs during the week in which we celebrate 70 years of our independence,” Netanyahu concluded. “We will hear about this later, but it is important that action continue constantly and this is the reason for the major celebrations we will hold this week. Happy holiday in advance.”