Major announcements by Israeli Cabinet Sunday

  • 9-Israel
Israel’s cabinet and prime minister yesterday made some informative remarks at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. Health Minister Litzman extended the free dental plan; Negev, Galilee and Periphery Development Minister Deri said he was tabling a “first-of-its-kind" strategy to place ultra-orthodox Jews in civil service jobs; and the PM announced a NIS 1 billion to convert the community of Harish into a new city of 50,000.
by ANT KATZ | Dec 21, 2015

But those were just the highlights. Read in more depth what was said prior to the Cabinet Meeting. A more detailed story on the mechanics of incorporating the ultra-Orthodox community into the public service will be published later today.

Prior to the Cabinet Meeting, the Prime Minister said:

I would like to commend the action of civilians and the security forces yesterday in Ra'anana. We must all be on alert at this time; we are in a determined and continuing struggle against terrorism.

Today, the Cabinet will approve steps to integrate the ultra-orthodox population in the civil service. The integration of all sectors in Israel in the labour market is very important both for them and for the continued economic growth of the State of Israel, to build up its economy and – of course – to reduce the social gaps.

Israel cabinet meeting December


RIGHT: The Cabinet Meeting on Sunday 20 December

 

In the coming days we will also decide on a five-year government plan to aid the Arab population in Israel, in the Arab sector, this includes a broad variety of areas.

Today, the Cabinet will approve a budget of approximately NIS 1 billion ahead of converting the community of Harish into a city in Israel. I visited there, along with several ministers several weeks ago; this is an outstanding and unparalleled Zionist act. A new city has not been established in many years. This will be a new city along the lines of Modi'in; it will be the beginnings of a city of 50,000 people. I believe that it will grow far beyond this in the future.

Minister Aryeh Deri said:

With G-d's help, tabled before the Cabinet today is a first-of-its-kind plan in which the government opens the door to the ultra-orthodox population and places them in civil service jobs. The number of ultra-orthodox in the civil service is negligible and this we intend to change – it is a kind of affirmative action. For decades I have been hearing complaints from ultra-orthodox that they have been unsuccessful in being accepted to jobs in the public service despite having served in the IDF and having various academic degrees.

They are rejected outright for various reasons even at the stage of presenting their resumes. In the framework of the plan that the government will – with G-d's help – approve today, dozens of ultra-orthodox will be integrated into the civil service per annum, to hundreds of positions by 2020. The ultra-orthodox will study in various tracks, a kind of cadet's course for ultra-orthodox, and will receive preferential treatment in civil service tenders.

This plan, Mr. Prime Minister, has a clear message: The state wants to integrate more and more ultra-orthodox in the civil service. Today, a clear message is going out to the private sector – integrate ultra-orthodox into the labor force. I have no doubt that you will also gain thereby; the ultra-orthodox will gain as will the entire country.

Prime Minister Netanyahu responded: "We want to integrate the ultra-orthodox public in both the public and private sectors. We want them to be integrated into the labour market, and today is an important step in that direction."

Minister Yaakov Litzman said:

I am delighted to bring before the Cabinet the dental health plan which raises the eligibility age from 12 to 14. And I want to thank the Prime Minister and Finance Minister, both of whom promoted, pushed and supported this agreement.

According to the plan, from 1 January dental care up to age 14 will be free, and each year the age will be increased so that on 1 January  2017 the age will be raised to 15, and so on, until the age of 18. Dental health is an integral part of public health and I am glad that it has been approved.

It is a budget of NIS 80 million, NIS 40 million each year, but it is for all of Israel. Israeli children will no longer need to be ashamed of not receiving dental treatment. The Cabinet approved dental treatments for children aged 12 to 14.

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